Black Friday, Cyber ​​Monday sales set to top $6b, as consumers shrug off soaring inflation

Australians spent $6 billion in the Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday sales last year and, despite soaring inflation, retailers are banking on another busy trading period from Friday.

“Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday have become significantly important to the retail industry,” Australian Retailers Association (ARA) chief executive, Paul Zahra told The Business.

“In fact about 25 percent of sales of the whole Christmas shopping [period] will be done in this one week.

“So it’s a big event that has US heritage, but it’s become a global phenomenon and really appropriate for Australian consumers right now.”

Black Friday shopping events began as Thanksgiving long weekend sales in the US, and Cyber ​​Monday was later added as the online version.

Now they have merged to a four day sale-athon, although many retailers start discounting up to a week before Black Friday.

The ARA expects shoppers will spend about $200 million more than the same period last year, taking the total to $6.2 billion worth of retail trade between Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday.

Two women, both with brown hair and wearing black, walk in the city holding shopping bags.
Despite the rise in popularity of online shopping, the ARA expects more sales will be done in person.(ABC News: Dan Irvine)

Historically high inflation is not expected to sour sales

Even though inflation is the highest it has been in more than 30 years, retail trade numbers show consumers are still shopping more.

The latest data from the Bureau of Statistics showed an increase in spending in September, partly as a result of higher prices.

A bar and line chart, going higher, in shades of blue
Retail trade rose 0.6 per cent in September. (Supplied: ABS, Macrobonds, ANZ Research)

But sales volumes were also 10 percent higher in the September 2022 quarter than in the same period of 2021, when millions of households were locked down for months in the south-eastern states.

Data like that is giving retailers, such as online women’s fashion store St Frock, confidence this super sales period will be strong.

“Black Friday, and Cyber ​​Monday is the most exciting time of the year for St Frock,” founder and chief executive officer Sandradee Makejev told The Business.

A lady with long blonde hair and dark blue dress points at a computer
Sandradee Makejev, founder and CEO of online fashion retailer St Frock says staff will work all weekend to get orders out.(ABC News: John Gunn)

“It’s where we benchmark ourselves for our best numbers — it makes up 7 percent of our annual sales.”

The company expects to sell 35,000 items, turning over about $2 million.

It is not just fashion where big trading numbers are expected.

“Black Friday is huge, we would expect over 500 per cent increase over our average days, for Black Friday,” Ruslan Kogan, the founder and chief executive of Kogan.com, told The Business.

A man with glasses, a receding hairline and wearing a black hoodie stands in an office and smiles to the camera.
Ruslan Kogan founded Kogan.com in his parents garage in 2006 and the company now has a market capitalization of $360 million.(ABC News: Peter Drought)

He is confident consumers will be doing a lot of shopping now, in search of a deal.

“We’re a value-based retailer, we’re all about efficiency and looking to drive costs down for customers, and they start to appreciate it more and more during this current inflationary period where there are a lot of cost of living pressures. “

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