The 1.4% boost comes off the back of the four-day Black Friday shopping event from November 25 to 28, with total retail sales for November reaching new heights of $35.918 billion. 

Major bank economists had anticipated retail sales figures to remain under the 1.0% mark in seasonally adjusted terms, with NAB forecasting a 1.0% rise, CommBank 0.9% and ANZ 0.6%. 

ABS Head of Retail Statistics Ben Dorber said Black Friday sales boosted retail turnover through an increase in spending on clothing, footwear, furniture, and electronic goods.

“While we typically see a rise in spending around Black Friday sales, the strong seasonally adjusted rise in November 2022 shows that the effect is increasing over time, as the event has become more common across retailers and sales periods become longer,” Mr Dorber said. 

“Given the increasing popularity of Black Friday sales, the smaller increase in October may reflect consumers waiting to take advantage of discounting in November, particularly in light of cost-of-living pressures.” 

The ABS revealed retail turnover rose in all states and territories with clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing the categories that were the most popular, increasing 6.4%.

Aussies also looked to open their wallets in department stores, with spending increasing 5.4%, while household goods retailing rose 2.1%, led by furniture retailing. 

On the flipside, growth in food related spending was not as prominent with food retailing, cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services all recording the weakest result for 2022, increasing 0.1%. 

“The monthly growth in turnover for cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services in November was the weakest in 2022 following strong growth earlier in the year as trading conditions returned to normal,” he said.

Panic buying for Black Friday bargains

With all states and territories having recorded significant increases in retail spending in November, it’s not since the panic buying toilet paper epidemic of May 2020 that spending has been this significant. 

“The last time we saw a general increase of this magnitude across states and territories was during the COVID-19 induced spending in May 2020,” he said. 

“With retail turnover increasing by more than one per cent in all states and territories, it’s clear Black Friday sales are becoming increasingly popular across the country.” 

Across the states, the Northern Territory recorded the largest month-on-month increase in retail spending, jumping 2.1%. 

Victoria and Western Australia both trailed behind on 1.7% to claim equal second place honors, with New South Wales recording an increase of 1.5%. 

The lowest increase was seen in Queensland, with retail sales increasing a flat 1.0% on October 2022 results. 

Online shopping was the main point of call for Aussies across all states and territories looking to bag bargains, with the ABS revealing seasonally adjusted online sales rose 13.0% in November 2022, the equivalent of $461.6m.


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