Black Friday for brick and mortar shops as online sales surge

Black Friday, with its frenetic shopping sales, has traditionally been regarded as the day the Christmas season starts ...
NACHO DOCE/REUTERS

Black Friday, with its frenetic shopping sales, has traditionally been regarded as the day the Christmas season starts in the United States.

Black Friday trends this year show the massive retail event is heading more online.

The shopping event that follows Thanksgiving in the United States every year was growing in popularity among New Zealand retailers as well, but there was a minimal boost to in-store spending last Friday.

According to data from point of sales system provider Vend, spending this year increased by 8 per cent compared to last year and 7 per cent compared to the November average.

Black Friday was followed by Cyber Monday, when retailers promoted online discounts.

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However, companies this year used Black Friday to advertise across both bricks and mortar and online channels.

Vend founder Vaughan Rowsell said Black Friday in New Zealand and around the world was no longer just one day of big in-store deals.

Many retailers ran online promotions alongside store-wide sales, as well as across the entire weekend, he said

"As competition here heats up and consumers demand flexibility in how and where they shop, it's only natural that local retailers look at alternative ways to capture that cash,"  Rowsell said.

Christchurch had the biggest  sales increase, up 15 per cent from the average Friday in November.

Auckland spending was up 8 per cent compared with November, while retail spending in Wellington fell by 6 per cent compared with the November average.

Christchurch retailers offered the largest discounts, followed by Auckland and then Wellington.

The level of in-store discounts increased 13 per cent this year.

Vend's data was collected from 1000 retailers.

Karl Retief​, retail general manager at Kiwi Property, which owns a number of malls including Sylvia Park, LynnMall and The Base, said there was a growing Black Friday trend among retailers.

There was a definite surge in shoppers last weekend, but it was hard to tell whether this was because of Black Friday sales, the weather, or if it was just a busy weekend.

The impact of online shopping has been apparent for a number of years and it has increased as more consumers become comfortable with it, Retief said.

"Across New Zealand, about 6 or 7 per cent of national sales go through online. Some [retail] categories are higher than others."

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Christchurch shopping centre The Palms had a 5 per cent increase in foot traffic on the Saturday after Black Friday.

Centre marketing manager Laura Jones said multiple retailers in the mall ran Black Friday sales across the whole weekend.

Internet sales surpassed US$3 billion (NZ$1.4b) in the US for the first time, According to Reuters.

Sales at brick and mortar stores fell 1 per cent during Thanksgiving and Black Friday when compared with the same time last year.

 - Stuff

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