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Black Friday Sales Boost Spending

Black Friday sales have become an established part of New Zealand’s shopping calendar, the latest ANZ card data suggests.


ANZ’s November card data shows spending was up 4% from 12 months ago, with most of the growth coming in the past week from the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.


Spending over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday week increased by 13.3% on the week before.


“We saw a similar impact in 2019. The Black Friday sales, which are spread over several days and have their origins in the US, are now firmly established in New Zealand,” says ANZ Managing Director of Personal Banking, Ben Kelleher.


The increase in spending in the final week included a slight lift in spending on overseas websites, but the great bulk of the spending (90%) was domestic.


“The increase in spending started early, on the Thursday, and was hefty right through to Monday. The single biggest day was Monday, followed by Black Friday,” Mr Kelleher says.


“The overseas spending category increased 17% from the week before, which suggests many people were looking for bargains on overseas websites.”


Total overseas spending was down 22% in November, compared to the same month a year ago.


“That reflects the lack of international travel due to COVID-19. What spending we are seeing is made up of goods ordered from offshore websites, or through the use of apps like Netflix, Spotify and online gaming services,” Mr Kelleher says.


ANZ transactions account for around 30% of all card spending by New Zealanders and are therefore are a good barometer for the economy.

ANZ cardholder spend split by merchant category for Nov-20 vs Nov-19. Note negative spend arises from refunds made from cancellations.


Spending for the entire month was up across many categories, and was particularly strong in the delivered food, computers and digital entertainment categories.


Spending on delivered food rose 141% from the same time a year ago, reflecting the increase in the numbers of people using.


The computer software category leapt 70%, while spending on computers and equipment was up 45% from November 2019, as households continue setting up work from home offices.


Digital entertainment (including pay TV) also rose by 45%, and sales of electronic goods  (including computer hardware, TVs, radios, cameras and car stereos) increased by 43%.


“We also saw continued strong sales from categories linked to housing” says Kelleher.


The home furnishings category was up 26% from the same time a year ago, spending at hardware stores rose by 17% from November 2019, while both building materials and household appliances rose by 11%.


This trend has been seen for several months.


Although some categories are doing well, others are sharply down from a year ago, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


This is particularly evident for retailers involved in travel and tourism.


Spending on cruise lines has plunged 101% from November 2019. The negative figure reflects both the drop in spending and the continued processing of refunds.


Travel agencies and tour operators fell by 79% from November 2019, duty free shops are down 71% and airline spending has decreased by 67%.


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