Black Friday buoys Australian retail but online continues to dominate

Written on the 11 January 2019 by Business News Australia

Black Friday buoys Australian retail but online continues to dominate

Australia's wholehearted embrace of the American Thanksgiving tradition Black Friday has paid off for our retailers, but it's online where shoppers continue to flock.

The highly anticipated ABS data on retailing for November 2018 proved to be more positive than expected, with turnover up 0.4 per cent in November 2018. Pundits predicted turnover to be up 0.3 per cent in the period.

The 0.4 per cent increase follows a 0.3 per cent rise in October 2018.

Acting director of quarterly economy wide surveys at the ABS Ben Faulkner says Black Friday injected serious adrenaline into retail during November.

"Household goods retailing led the rises while there was a notable rise for clothing, footwear and personal accessories retailing," says Faulkner.

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

Rises were also seen in food retailing and department stores, whilst cafes, restaurants and takeaway services saw a minor fall during November.

The real champion of course was online retail, which contributed 6.6 per cent to total retail turnover in November, a rise from 5.9 per cent in October 2018.

This is the highest level recorded in the series and continues a pattern of increasing online contributions to total sales in November.

In November 2017 online retail contributed 5.5 per cent to total retail.

In seasonally adjusted terms there were rises in New South Wales (0.8 per cent), Queensland (0.4 per cent), Western Australia (0.6 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (1.6 per cent), and Victoria (0.1 per cent). South Australia was relatively unchanged (0.0 per cent). There were falls in the Northern Territory (-0.9 per cent), and Tasmania (-0.2 per cent).

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