Early credit card spending data from Commonwealth Bank indicates that Australian retailers enjoyed a strong Black Friday sale, with spending more than doubling this year as compared to last year.
Well-above average sales were recorded across the whole weekend through to Cyber Monday.
“A sample of our credit card data shows that retail goods spending lifted around 87 per cent on Black Friday compared to the average spend in the three weeks prior,” says Commonwealth Bank Senior Economist Kristina Clifton.
“Retail goods spending across the weekend following Black Friday and on Cyber Monday was also well above average November levels. We have seen spikes in spending at time of the Black Friday sales in the previous years but they have been much smaller in size, averaging around 28 per cent,” she added.
The US sales days have increasingly become part of the Australian retail calendar in recent years. However, the sales are also accompanied by concerns the widespread discounting could erode margins and reduce profitability during the all-important Christmas trading period.
“It’s likely that consumers brought forward some of their usual Christmas spending to November or early December to make the most of the discounts. It may also prove the case that some consumers had been holding on to their tax rebates to spend in the Black Friday sales,” Clifton said.
The sales benefitted retailers’ online and physical stores.
According to CBA’s data the biggest department stores and electronic goods saw the biggest online uplift.
“By category, online spending in department stores and electronic goods retailing rose by 238 per cent compared to the average November daily spend, while in-store spending was up by 153 per cent.
“Online clothing sales rose by 146 per cent and in-store clothing sales rose by 52 per cent. Home furnishings and equipment spending was up by 116 per cent online and 33 per cent in-store. Not surprisingly, food and liquor posted smaller rises than the other categories both online and in store,” Clifton added.