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Black Friday Boosts Retail Sales, Christmas Spending Leans On Value

Black Friday is set to continue as usual, boosting retailers’ sales before the holiday season, despite a softening during the pre-Christmas spending period.

Research has revealed consumers will be spending less per head this year due to the cost-of-living pressures, and focusing on value for money.

A survey conducted by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), along with Roy Morgan, found 30% of consumers will cut Christmas budgets, 61% will attempt to maintain the same spending as last year, while 9% intend to spend more.

The result for the average gifting spend is tipped at $646 a person, which is down from $700 last year.

Toys and games will be the most highly sought-after (20% of consumers), following the popularity of Barbie earlier this year. Next down the list will be gift cards (18%), then clothing, shoes & sleepwear (16%).

The ARA and Roy Morgan also found around 76% of Australians will buy gifts this year, down 3% from last year, most shopping will happen instore, with 36% shopping online, and most Aussies will shop at the same time as last year (76%). One fifth said they will shop sooner (20%).

The survey also noted 55% of Australian consumers say their shopping habits have remained the same as last year, while 21% admitted to shopping less online this year.

Additionally, 49% of consumers will purchase an environmentally friendly gift this year.

The latest holiday sales predictions for the ARA with Roy Mogan indicated Aussies will spend $67.1 billion leading up to Christmas, which has increased 0.6% from last year.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra claimed Christmas shoppers will be more considered and deliberate in spending this year.

“Many Australians are under significant financial pressure, and their Christmas gifting behaviour will reflect this. A big part of their buying mentality will be geared towards bang for their buck. Shoppers will actively seek out good deals but they’re still looking for gifts that reflect their personal values.”

“For retailers, sales and promotions will be more important than ever this year – especially on the marquee Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. With increased competition and reduced spending across discretionary categories, retailers will be mindful of shopper’s shifting spending focus and will be motivated to entice shoppers however they can.”

Despite the softened forecast, Back Friday sales are expected to provide retailers with strong results, leading towards Christmas.

The ARA and Roy Morgan predicted record sales at $6.36 billion over the four day Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend, which takes place between November 24th and November 27th. This has risen 3% from last year.

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