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.