Black Friday boosts November retail spend

13 January, 2019, 03:58 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Retailers get a boost from Black Friday sales, as shoppers bring forward Christmas spending

"Both of these industries were impacted by strong promotional activity in the November month, including Black Friday sales."

In a sign of the times, a string of Australian retailers have gone under recently including Marcs, Pumpkin Patch, Payless Shoes and Roger David while department store Myer has been struggling to turn around.

It was certainly a significant jump compared to the same period previous year (November 2017), when online sales were 5.5 per cent of total turnover.

The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.2 per cent in November 2018, following a 0.2 percent rise in October 2018.

Sales at petrol service stations increased 3.1 per cent as a result of higher petrol prices, but recorded a small decline of 0.7 per cent in sales volume after removing the price effect.

As expected, there was a significant rise in online sales, contributing 6.6 per cent to total retail turnover in November.

For the month of November, household goods retailing spiked 1.2% [seasonally adjusted], with electrical and electronic goods retailing jumping 3.3%.

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While the November retail sales growth of 0.4 per cent was decent, it was substantially lower than the same period past year.

By state and territory, the ABS said that after falling heavily in the prior two months, sales in New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, rose strongly, increasing by 0.8%.

Even after motor vehicles were taken out of the picture, sales were still down by 0.2 per cent.

Turnover also increased by 0.6%, 0.4% and 0.1% respectively in Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria, offsetting declines of 0.9% and 0.2% respectively in the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

While, on the surface, the November result was reasonable, the key question now is whether the boost provided by sales late in the month brought forward spending that would normally be seen in December?

Better-than-expected results stem from Black Friday and Click Frenzy sales, with household goods and clothing amongst the most in demand segments. Research from Criteo that was released well before Christmas also suggested that consumers would start making purchase decisions as early as October, ready to process their online transactions during November's online sales events.

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