Over the past few years there has been a significant change in some of the Easter spend and for a number of specialty shops, the four weeks leading up to Easter can account for up to 20 per cent of annual sales, according to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).

“While the hot cross buns are almost a permanent item in the bakery with a retail life cycle of about four months, the Australian take on the traditional ‘Easter Bunny’ – the chocolate bilby – is a new custom gaining popularity. In fact, retailers are reporting that the demand for the chocolate bilby is doubling each year,” says ARA executive director Richard Evans.

Evans says that fresh fish is in high demand as well during the Easter period and prices tend to escalate, especially for crustaceans. If shoppers want to buy the fish they really want, Evans advises not too leave it until the last day.

“This demand can be a challenge for the consumer, especially those who leave their purchases to the last minute and don’t take shop closures in a many states into account.”

Most stores will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.