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Black Friday sales facing “supply chain storm”

Australian retailers began embracing the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping period, with a record $5.4 billion predicted to be spent in stores and online, research from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) in conjunction with Roy Morgan says.

However, consumers are cautioned to get in early to land their products in time for Christmas with supply chains under significant pressure from a “perfect storm of issues,” according to ARA CEO Paul Zahra.

“There are several issues that retailers are navigating at the moment – everything from COVID impacts, shipping delays and threats of industrial action from port workers and delivery drivers. There’s a perfect storm of issues so consumers need to get in quick to ensure they get the products they want.”

Supply chain issues have even resulted in electronic giant Sony halting production of three of its hallmark mirrorless camera range due to semi-conductor shortages. (DIY Photography)

Black Friday sales span Friday 26 November to Monday 29 November 2021 (Cyber Monday) and originated during the US Thanksgiving holiday period.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said November is now Australia’s biggest shopping month of the year.

“For the past two years, November has beaten December as the biggest month for Australian retail sales throughout the year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be credited with this trend as people snap up some bargains and shop early for Christmas,” Mr Zahra said.

“This event is renowned for having the biggest pre-Christmas in-store and online bargains.”

“The Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales provide strong momentum for Australian retailers heading into Christmas. The Christmas trading quarter is the most critical time of year on the retail calendar when most discretionary retailers make up to two thirds of their profits.”

Last month, ARA and Roy Morgan predicted overall pre-Christmas spending will hit $58.8 billion, virtually unchanged on last year, but up 11.3% on pre-pandemic conditions.

Retail New Zealand chief executive Greg Harford told the New Zealand Herald the industry this year can expect about $270 million in estimated turnover today for Black Friday – challenging Boxing Day as the busiest trading day.

“Black Friday now rivals Boxing Day in terms of its significance in the Kiwi shopping calendar. It is going to be busy on Friday but, given the ongoing Covid-19 situation, I would expect a good proportion of those sales to be made online,” Harford said.

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