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Black Friday spending higher than Christmas

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A 2.7% drop in sales for December followed a ‘Black Friday’ spending spike of 1.6% in November, new ABS figures show.
black friday spending

A 2.7% drop in sales for December followed a ‘Black Friday’ spending spike of 1.6% in November, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

Retail spending in December dropped to its lowest level in over three years, new ABS figures show.

The ABS said a shift in November-December shopping habits “reflects the growing popularity of Black Friday sales and the impact of cost-of-living pressures”.

Black Friday spending

The ABS data indicates Australians did their Christmas shopping early in 2023, with consumers ”taking advantage” of Black Friday discounts during a period of high inflation (rising prices).

ABS head of retail statistics Ben Dorber said spending was “slow” in early December “before picking up again in the lead-up to Christmas and Boxing Day sales where discounting activity returned”.

Despite an uptick later in the month, retail spending for December was at its lowest level since a mid-2020 pandemic slump in spending.

Retail spending fell in all states and territories in December, with the majority down by more than 2%

The biggest drops in spending after Black Friday were across department stores, household goods, and clothing/footwear.

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