Big lift in Black Friday spending

Some significant spending growth during the recent 4-day sale, according to latest credit card data.

Early credit card spending data from Commonwealth Bank indicates that Australian retailers experienced an especially good Black Friday this year after bargain-hunters headed online and in-store to take advantage of discounted pricing.

The spending uplift seen across retail goods on Black Friday, as well as Cyber Monday, more than doubled this year as compared to last year, with well-above average sales across the whole weekend.

“A sample of our credit card data shows that retail goods spending lifted around 87% on Black Friday compared to the average spend in the three weeks prior,” says Commonwealth Bank Senior Economist Kristina Clifton.

“Retail goods spending across the weekend following Black Friday and on Cyber Monday was also well above average November levels. We have seen spikes in spending at time of the Black Friday sales in the previous years but they have been much smaller in size, averaging around 28 per cent,” she added.

During the four-day sale period, department stores and electronic goods saw the biggest online uplift.

“By category, online spending in department stores and electronic goods retailing rose by 238 per cent compared to the average November daily spend, while in store spending was up by 153 per cent.

“Online clothing sales rose by 146 per cent and in-store clothing sales rose by 52 per cent. Home furnishings and equipment spending was up by 116 per cent online and 33 per cent in-store. Not surprisingly, food and liquor posted smaller rises than the other categories both online and in store,” Ms Clifton added.

Across the different retailer categories, as well as online and in-store, the trend of broader participation in the Black Friday weekend appears to have continued this year. Compared to Black Friday 2018, home furnishings and equipment saw more than four times the uplift in-store and liquor stores saw more than three times the uplift online.

“It’s likely that consumers brought forward some of their usual Christmas spending to November or early December to make the most of the discounts. It may also prove the case that some consumers had been holding on to their tax rebates to spend in the Black Friday sales,” Ms Clifton said.

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