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Black Friday sales boosted retail spending in November

Retail spending increased 7.7 per cent year on year in November as consumers spent $35.9 billion in stores and online, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

On a monthly basis, turnover rose 1.4 per cent boosted by Black Friday sales on clothing, footwear, furniture and electronic goods.

Australian Retailers Association (ARA) CEO Paul Zahra, described the results as “phenomenal” considering the disruptions the industry has weathered.

“The result is particularly strong considering the cost-of-living squeeze being felt by households across the board,” said Zahra.

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services recorded a 24.8 per cent increase in sales while department store sales grew by 7.6 per cent followed by clothing, footwear and personal accessories at 7.1 per cent and food retailing at 8.4 per cent.

By state, Queensland led with the highest growth in retail turnover at 10.4 per cent followed by SA at 9.5 per cent, WA at 9.1 per cent, NSW at 8.9 per cent, NT at 7.3 per cent, ACT at 7 per cent, Tasmania at 6.5 per cent and Victoria at 3.4 per cent.

Despite 15 consecutive months of growth, Zahra flagged inflation as a point of concern for retailers followed by the rising cost of doing business along with supply chain disruptions and staff shortages.

Ben Dorber, ABS head of retail statistics, said the increasing popularity of Black Friday sales means consumers are waiting to “take advantage of discounting” in November, especially with cost-of-living pressures.

“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.”

Lindsay Carroll, interim CEO at the National Retail Association, said the monthly increase in sales reflected consumers satisfying their spending cravings through the sales event.

“Consumers have been constrained by increasing costs to everything from their groceries to power bills, and this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday presented the perfect opportunity to take advantage of great deals and discounts. 

“It also shows the interest of consumers to bring their Christmas shopping forward to November,” she said.

Further reading: Australians set records for pre- and post-Christmas retail spending

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