Black Friday' online sales up 62%: NAB

author-avatar By on January 09, 2020
Black Friday' online sales up 62%: NAB

Photo by Justin Lim on Unsplash

It's the biggest shopping event on the US calendar but data shows more and more Australians are embracing 'Black Friday' as an online shopping event.

NAB's Online Retail Sales Index for November found that online retail sales were up 62% over the month, compared to the same sales event the year before.

"From a shaky start earlier in the decade, this sales event day appears to be growing," NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster said. 

"The event has been gaining momentum since 2015."

The biggest drivers behind overall sales on the day were homewares and appliances, department stores and personal and recreational goods. Fashion, which normally represents a significant share of sales on the day, was more subdued this year.

"It is likely that these sales events are shifting the period when sales occur, without adding to total sales," Mr Oster said.

"Our data suggests that Black Friday represented almost 10% of total November online sales. In 2012, this figure was just over 4%."

Overall, NAB found that online retail sales were up 2.4% in November and by 9.6% over the year. 

"We estimate that in the 12 months to November, Australians spent $30.14 billion on online retail," Mr Oster said. 

The biggest growth in online sales was takeaway food, up by 163% on Black Friday compared to the same sales event the year before. 

The results come a day before the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is set to release its own retail data for November. Many economists hope a small rise will break the seven consecutive month drought of stagnant figures. 

Consumer spending growth fell to its lowest level since the Global Financial Crisis in September according to the ABS, with rate cuts failing to translate to discretionary spending

Early indicators suggest the recent bushfires may put a dampener on consumer confidence, which has returned to lows not seen since the GFC according to ANZ-Roy Morgan's weekly survey of consumer confidence.

ANZ expected the struggling retail sector to have bounced back in November mostly due to the Black Friday sales.

The retail downturn has hit companies hard, with women's fashion retailer Bardot today announcing it will shut the vast majority of its stores over the next two months. 

The fashion chain entered administration in November, joining a long line of retailers to do so last year as the sector struggled.

Australian winemaker McWilliams Wines also announced today it would be going into administration.


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Emma Duffy is Assistant Editor at Your Mortgage and  Your Investment Property Mag, which are part of the Savings Media Group. In this role, she manages a team of journalists and expert contributors committed to keeping readers informed about the latest home loan and finance news and trends, as well as providing in-depth property guides. She is also a finance journalist at Savings.com.au which she joined shortly after its launch in early 2019. Emma has a Bachelor in Journalism and has been published in several other publications and been featured on radio.

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