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Retailers see $5b November sales boost


By Colin Brinsden and Andrew Brown in Canberra
Source: AAP

Retailers should prepare for a $5 billion-plus shopping frenzy during the so-called Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, new research shows.

The four-day shopping period, from November 26-29, originated in the US to tie in with its Thanksgiving holiday and has becoming increasingly popular in Australia.

Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra said November is now Australia’s biggest shopping month of the year and can be mostly attributed to the spike in sales over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“For the past two years, November has beaten December as the biggest month for Australian retail sales throughout the year,” Mr Zahra said.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be credited with this trend as people snap up some bargains and shop early for Christmas.”

The association, in conjunction with researcher Roy Morgan, estimates $5.4 billion will be spent over the weekend both in-store and online.

It adds to Australia’s positive economic outlook as the country rebounds from the negative impact of having NSW, Victoria and the ACT in COVID-19 lockdowns.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is confident Australia will be able to make a successful recovery, with new economic figures showing the nation avoided a slew of business failures during the pandemic.

According to new tax office and Treasury data, there were 40 per cent fewer external administrations this year than in the same period in the years before COVID-19.

“(It’s) another proof point that Australia’s economic recovery is on track,” Mr Frydenberg told the Nine Network on Monday.

“The jobs are coming back, unemployment is at 4.6 per cent, a 12-year low, we know that job ads are 30 per cent higher than at the start of the pandemic.”

Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said while it was pleasing to see the economy recover after COVID-19, some results were mixed.

“We want to see it recover strongly, we want to see the government take responsibility for things when they are difficult and not just when they are recovering,” he said.

“It is pleasing it is starting to get some momentum.”

However, he declined to say if next year’s federal budget would be moved forward to April in order to have the election in May.

The next federal election is due to be held by May 21.

Mr Frydenberg said the country’s finances would receive a further boost in coming weeks with the return of skilled workers and international students.

“(Skilled workers will return) before the end of the year, and that’s what we’re working towards,” Mr Frydenberg told Sky News.

“We’re optimistic and confident about the economy’s outlook.”

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