Aussie retailers opt out of Black Friday sales

Australian independent retailers didn’t seem too keen to participate in the recent Black Friday sales bonanza, with discounting levels down 12 per cent.

Data from retail management platform Vend also shows that in-store spending over this popular shopping period dropped by 13 per cent compared to 2017.

“There have been reports that Black Friday weekend has now become the biggest trading period of the year,” says Dave Scheine, APAC country manager for Vend.

“This may well be true for big-box stores and major online retailers, but our data shows this doesn’t necessarily translate for smaller businesses. For small business it’s hard enough with rising rents, red tape, that many appear to have not been able to afford to join in Black Friday this year.

“Shoppers have still been splashing the cash―or credit―over Black Friday this year, but they need to also be mindful to support local, alongside looking for online and big-box deals. It’s notoriously hard for independent retailers to compete on price, although many are still doing this―for example, over the weekend home and lifestyle stores ramped up their discounting by over 200 per cent.”

For homewares retailer TheSuperCool discounting is a no-no, however, owner Kate Vandermeer says they did offer free shipping for Black Friday and saw an increase of sales, especially on Cyber Monday, for products under $50―they normally offer free shipping for any orders above $50.

“November and December are our busiest period of the year and it’s booming at the moment in the lead up to Christmas,” she explains.

“We anticipate we will make 30 to 50 per cent of our sales for the year during this period and therefore, like a lot of other small retailers, weren’t keen on discounting for Black Friday.

“I am aware that a number of independent stores decided to boycott Black Friday this year feeling it’s an American tradition, and could have sustainability impacts, instead opting to promote conscious consumerism instead of overconsumption.”

By Marion Gerritsen