Black Friday a flop for independent retailers

Data from retail-management platform Vend shows that in-store retail spending over the Black Friday shopping period this year dropped by 13 per cent compared to 2017.

Discounting levels were also down 12 per cent across the week compared to last year, indicating that independent retail stores may be pulling back on their offers and participation in the event due to the pressure it places on margins.

However, Vend, which powers thousands of small-to-medium and independent retail stores across Australia, found that Black Friday still provides an overall spike in the retail calendar. When looking at the Black Friday weekend (24th-27th November) compared to the previous weeks in October and November, spending increased by 12 per cent.

“There have been reports that Black Friday weekend has now become the biggest trading period of the year. This may well be true for big-box stores and major online retailers, but our data shows this doesn’t necessarily translate for smaller businesses,” Dave Scheine, APAC Country Manager for Vend, said.

“Shoppers have still been splashing the cash – or credit – over Black Friday this year, but they need to also be mindful to support local, alongside looking for online and big-box deals. It’s notoriously hard for independent retailers to compete on price, although many are still doing this – for example over the weekend home and lifestyle stores ramped up their discounting by over 200 per cent.”

Vend’s data also found a 45 per cent increase in the amount of money shoppers were putting on their credit cards over the weekend, compared to last year. An additional $1.1 million in sales were processed through credit cards this year on the Vend system, making up 30 per cent of total sales.

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