In Charts: Australia’s Black Friday spending splash

In the US, Black Friday is perhaps the most important day of the year for retailers. It marks the time when businesses extend massive discounts and traditionally turn their annual profits. It’s a tradition quickly becoming Australia’s too.

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Over this year’s Black Friday weekend — a four-day sales bonanza — ANZ saw spending on retail excluding food increase one per cent compared to 2022.

"Promotional events and discounting are being lengthened, as businesses try to entice households to buy up in the face of cost-of-living pressures.”

ANZ-observed spending shows non-food retail spending is holding up vs previous Black Fridays

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Source: ANZ Research

While elevated inflation and strong population growth helped support 2023 spending, end-of-year momentum is holding up reasonably well — particularly given the squeeze on many household budgets.

Since October, non-food retail spending has grown faster than 2022. It is worth noting that late last year marked the start of a notable shift in spending habits, with households turning away from goods and towards services.

ANZ-observed spending on non-food retail: end-of-year momentum

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Source: ANZ Research

The Black Friday sales period is being stretched out and non-food retail spending started accelerating in mid-November when many retailers kicked off their Black Friday sales.

This is part of a broader theme in the retail space. Promotional events and discounting are being lengthened as businesses try to entice households to buy up despite cost-of-living pressures.

Over the Black Friday extended weekend, electronics spending was the clear standout, rising six per cent compared to last year.

ANZ-observed spending on non-food retail: key end-of-year dates

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Source: ANZ Research

ANZ-observed spending on electronics: Black Friday period

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Source: ANZ Research

Department store spending was also strong, coming in five per cent higher than 2022. Spending on clothing on the other hand was down 10 per cent compared to the previous year.

ANZ-observed spending at department stores: Black Friday period

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Source: ANZ Research

ANZ-observed spending on clothing: Black Friday period

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Source: ANZ Research

Madeline Dunk is an Economist at ANZ and Adelaide Timbrell is a Senior Economist at ANZ

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales mark the beginning of the Christmas retail period. During this time, we see an increase in online shopping scams – here are seven tips that may help you remain vigilant online

7 tips to watch out for while online shopping

Here are some ways you can protect yourself and your dollars from scams when shopping online at any time of the year.

1. Be cautious with tempting offers

Scams may offer rare or highly sought-after items, such as concert tickets, often creating a sense of urgency to purchase. Be sure to pause and assess offers, especially if they seem too good to be true!

2. Beware of new online stores

Be careful when shopping on new online stores selling products at unusually low prices. Play detective and investigate the website's registration date using the ICANN Lookup search - if it was recently registered, it could be a scam. To double-check, use a search engine and type the “website name” plus the word “scam” and carefully review the results.

3. Don’t click on unexpected or unusual links

Never click links in emails, text messages, or pop-up messages on social media - they might lead you to a fake website! Search for the official website yourself in your browser.

4. Pay attention to URL spelling

Look for weird spelling in search results and website URLs, including dashes, typos, or symbols in the company name of an online store.

5. Check website information

It’s important to know how to identify fake shopping websites. A legitimate online store should include essential information like a privacy policy, ABN, terms and conditions, contact details, and offer secure payment methods like credit cards and PayPal. Check reviews about the company before handing your dollars over.

6. Use PayID and beware of unusual payment methods

Where possible, use PayID or BPAY, and make sure the name matches the person or company you’re paying. If it doesn’t match – don’t pay! Don’t consider payments requested in gift cards, unless it matches the company (e.g. gift cards for corresponding retailers).

7. Inspect items in person

Whenever possible, view items - including pets - in person before making a purchase! Online marketplace scammers are very devious - they may misrepresent items or provide excuses and strange reasons about why they can’t show you an item.

Remember, something looks suspicious or too good to be true, it probably is!

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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12 Jul 2023


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