National franchisor BSR Australia, the company behind the Betta Electrical and Chandlers brands, has experienced a strong Christmas sales period, which has continued into the New Year.

BSR Australia general manager Ian Brown said recent rises in interest rates and high petrol prices appeared to have failed to dent consumer confidence.

“Group sales were up significantly in December on a like-for-like comparison and trading post-Christmas continues to be strong,” said Brown.

BSR’s like-for-like sales have now increased every month since April.

Demand for electrical products was extremely strong, according to Brown, particularly for portable appliances, brown goods and air conditioners. Kitchen products featuring a bonus Susan’s Gift Card, offered under the Group’s exclusive Sunbeam promotion, were popular, too.

Brown said there was also a good response to the recently-launched Betta Electrical Gift Card, which he said could become an increasingly popular item.

“Looking at the hot products for 2008, it’s hard to single out specific items but, in terms of categories, we expect personal electrical and IT technology goods to continue to perform strongly,” he said.

“One emerging trend we’ve noticed is the increasingly popularity of store gift cards.

“This is a relatively new development in Australia but one that customers responded to extremely well over Christmas.”