Major bank tips huge sales rise on Black Friday

Commonwealth Bank is placing bets that this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be the biggest spending splurge in the sale period’s young history.

The country’s largest retail bank expects more Australians to take advantage of the pre-Christmas discounting event that begins on Friday and spans over four days.

According to credit and debit card data obtained by CBA, in 2019 spending on Black Friday shot up 69 per cent on the previous year, while Cyber Monday sales increased by 25 per cent over the same period.

The bank said many of its major retail customers were expecting the turnover hike to continue, particularly in online sale volumes as customers choose to shop digitally during the pandemic.

CBA managing director Jake Potgieter said expected sale increases touted by retailers were based on the assumption consumers unable to travel would spend their discretionary income on retail goods and services.

“Some of our major retail clients will be extending their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to capitalise on increased retail spending,” Mr Potgieter said.

“By all indications, many of our clients are preparing for the largest online sales period on record.”

Traditionally a North American discounting week, the sales bonanza has become a permanent fixture in the Australian retail calendar, with recorded sales across the entire 2019 Black Friday weekend up 37 per cent compared with the previous year.

In 2018, Black Friday sales on the day were 35 per cent higher than what was recorded in 2017.

Head of retail in CBA’s business bank, Jerry Macey, said the shift in consumer spending had prompted some retailers to advertise early-bird specials ahead of the event.

“Many retail business customers are telling us they have experienced a move to more online sales due to the pandemic, and they expect this to be reflected in the upcoming sale period as well,” Mr Macey said.

“To ensure they lock in sales, many retailers have even started their offers well ahead of the day itself.”

Mr Macey also noted businesses were viewing the heavy discounting period as an opportunity to grow the size of consumer bases through loyalty programs offering exclusive discounts.

“It also presents an opportunity for retailers to bring forward sales, optimise their inventory and enhance performance for the year if they manage these sales events well,” he said.

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Serena Maddox

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