Black Friday (Friday 27th Nov) is the retail super day in the US. It marks the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season, and the biggest single shopping day of the year. For many stores, Black Friday and the shopping season it launches is a revenue boom that pushes revenues into the black, thus the eponymous name.

Without the Thanksgiving marker or public holidays, Black Friday is not as big an event in Australia as it is in the US, but it is gaining recognition. Back in 2017, a McCrindle survey showed one in four (24%) Australians had never heard of Black Friday, compared to only 4% in 2020.

Two in five Aussies plan on taking advantage of the sales

Two in five Australians (40%) have heard of the Black Friday sales and plan to take advantage of them, or at least check them out. While awareness in Australia continues to grow, COVID-19 may impact sales this year. More than two in five (44%) have heard of Black Friday but are not planning to take part this year. This is up from one in three Australians (33%) just 12 months ago.

Younger Australians are driving the Black Friday sales engagement, being 3.5 times more likely than their older counterparts to take advantage of the sales or at least check them out (64% Gen Z and 61% Gen Y, compared to 35% Gen X, 18% Baby Boomers and 13% Builders).

“Along with Halloween, American traditions like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have quickly gained traction in Australia. This is particularly true amongst the emerging generations who are global in outlook, digital in connection and influenced through social channels. From their social media feed to the digital marketing they experience to the popular culture of their era, they are more influenced by United States sales cycles than any prior generation.” – Mark McCrindle, Social Researcher

Planning starts early

A third of Australians (33%) are already planning what they want to buy in the Black Friday sales, while 31% expect to spend more in this years’ sales than they have before.

Younger Australians are more likely to be gearing up for the sales event with more than half of Gen Z (53%) and Gen Y (54%) already planning what they want to buy, compared to a third of Gen X (32%) and just 9% of Baby Boomers and Builders (9%).

Not only are younger Australians more likely to engage with Black Friday sales, but they are also looking to spend more than they have before. Gen Z (55%) and Gen Y (50%) are twice as likely as Gen X (25%) and five times as likely as Baby Boomers (11%) to expect to spend more than they have before.

Black Friday kick starts the Christmas season with much desired sales

After a tough year financially, Australians are looking for ways to save on their Christmas gifts (70%). Black Friday is the answer for almost two in five Australians (36%) who use this day to kick start their Christmas shopping. Gen Z (63%) and Gen Y (59%) are more likely than Gen X (32%) and Baby Boomers (10%) to mark the sales in their calendar to kick start their Christmas shopping. These online sales also create an opportunity for Australians to purchase from the comfort of their own home. This fits well with three in five Australians (58%) planning to do the majority of their Christmas shopping online this year to avoid the crowds.

“While many Australians are still wondering about the relevance of Black Friday to the Australian calendar, the impact of Black Friday is increasingly being welcomed by the retail sector. If it has the impact of pulling purchasing away from the Christmas season, allowing it to be less commercial and a time of more manageable credit card debt, then it will have benefits to Australians as a whole.”  – Mark McCrindle, Social Researcher

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