As many countries around the world suffered strict lockdowns for extended periods, daily life in most of Australia continued pretty much as normal as possible.

Shopping malls started life as meeting and social centres, in addition to their retail business.

This original guiding principle remains in force reveals Westfield iQ research.

During 2020, Westfield Living Centres clocked up 450 million customer visits – an average of 46 million per month.

“Customers spent more than $22 billion with our retail partners and enjoyed more than one-and-a-half hours of their time on each visit,” said Phil McAveety, Scentre Group Chief Customer and Business Development Manager.

About 20 million people live within close proximity to a Westfield centre nationwide. Key beauty retailers include Mecca, Chanel, Jurlique, Sephora, The Body Shop, Endota Spa, L’Occitane, David Jones, Myer and many more.

According to the latest research, 90 per cent of customers feel safe visiting their local Westfield shopping complex. Over the next year, 65 per cent say they plan to purchase a “Big Ticket” item, including technology, furniture and whitegoods.

The latest NielsenIQ Unlocking Consumption Global Survey of 16 leading countries, including Australia, revealed that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected Australians less than their global counterparts.

Almost half – 46 per cent – of global respondents in the survey said they felt their spending would be constrained over the next three to six months. By contrast to 33 per cent of Australian respondents.

Nielsen added that only 22 per cent of Australian respondents felt insecure about their income prospects in the first half of the year.

Australia is one of the leading promotionally-driven markets in the world and this emphasis will continue, notes the researcher.

Almost half –  49 per cent – of Aussie respondents said they would prefer to buy products on promotion regardless of brand. More than 48 per cent said they would choose the lowest-priced products regardless of brand and 45 per cent would opt for private label/ store brands.

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