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Post-Pandemic Shoppers Go Wild During Record-Breaking Black Friday Sales

Australian shoppers went wild during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals last week, with sales expected to break all previous records in the lead up to Christmas.

According to the AFR, retailers are reporting a positive consumer response to the four-day shopping event, with online and physical sales exceeding expectations – an indication the pandemic downturn may be over soon.

The National Retail Association has already predicted a record-breaking Christmas season in Australia, projecting $5.3 billion in sales over the Black Friday event.

The NRA also forecasts Aussies will spend $52.3 billion in brick-and-mortar stores in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Meanwhile, online spending is expected to surge 53% to $5.2 billion.

“We don’t have figures yet, but anecdotally there has certainly been quite a surge in terms of foot traffic and people taking advantage of sales,” NRA chief executive Dominique Lamb said.

Department store Myer said it had enjoyed strong foot traffic and broke records in online sales and online retailer Catch.com.au said it had hosted its biggest-ever Black Friday sales in response to post-pandemic consumer demand.

However, the NRA noted the winding up of JobKeeper next year may see a significant drop in consumer spending.

“But I think what is going to be really big is when JobKeeper falls away in early January. It’s not uncommon for us to lose a lot of international brands in January and February every year, and it is really dependent upon consumer engagement,” Lamb added.

“All we can do is ask consumers to make sure they are engaging with our local retailers, because it is make or break at the moment.”

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