Black Friday sales lower than last year but add spice to retail sector

Black Friday proved a success for both online and in-store sales, but was not the success it was in 2019, according to the Commonwealth Bank.

Dec 10, 2020, updated Dec 10, 2020
The CBA said its own data suggested the four day sale was not as big as last year

The CBA said its own data suggested the four day sale was not as big as last year

The bank used its own debit and credit card data to discover than online spending on clothing as well as purchases in department and electronics stores soared by more than 100 per cent over the four-day period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in comparison to the average amount spent in the three weeks prior.

It said that on Black Friday alone, online spending on clothing and footwear jumped 213 per cent when compared to the prior three weeks. Meanwhile, online spending at department and electronics stores was up 267 per cent on the same day.

“While not as popular as Black Friday, online sales also spiked on Cyber Monday, with spending on clothing and footwear increasing by 105 per cent and department and electronics stores by 83 per cent in comparison.

“Across the four-day period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, online spending on clothing and footwear was up a total of 140 per cent, while online purchases at department and electronics stores was up 105 per cent.

While the amount spent purchasing retail goods online over the 2020 Black Friday weekend was significantly higher than the average amount spent over the prior three weeks, it didn’t eclipse the increase in spending seen in 2019.

Last year, online spending on retail goods was up 120 per cent over the Black Friday four-day weekend, whereas this year’s online retail goods uplift was 91 per cent over the weekend.

However, spending over the Black Friday weekend this year was higher than 2018, when the total amount spent buying retails goods online increased by 76 per cent.

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Head of Retail and Diversified Industries in CBA’s Business Banking division Jerry Macey said that the significant uptick in online spending was a good indicator that people were willing to take advantage of the pre-Christmas discounting.

“The strong growth in the amount spent buying clothing and footwear online is very reflective of the current climate. As many of the states gradually come out of lockdown and we head into the summer season, Australians are keen to restock and renew their wardrobes,” he said.

“Businesses are acutely aware of the growing popularity of the Black Friday to Cyber Monday period and are increasingly using this time as an opportunity to attract new customers, unload some of their inventory, and head into the end of the year with positive momentum,” he said.

“Many of our retail business customers have significantly grown online sales this year due to the current pandemic. As such, they were already well set-up and prepared for this year’s Black Friday to Cyber Monday sales.”

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