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Wait: Black Friday sales prompts warning

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Hunter residents will be among the eight million Australians expected to shop up a storm during Black Friday sales next week, prompting a warning from couriers.

Last year, consumers across the country spent a record $55 billion, in-store and online, during the second half of November and throughout December.

In 2021, online spending is expected to continue its astronomical growth for the remainder of the year, with new research revealing that 41% of Aussies, equivalent to 8.2 million, plan to shop the Black Friday sales.

To avoid any disappointment, Courier Please CEO Paul Roper suggests shoppers check expected delivery times before they purchase.

“To manage delivery expectations and reduce unwanted ‘anxiety’, shoppers could consider checking for any shipping delays on retailer websites prior to making their purchase,” he said.

“For those living in major metropolitan cities I advise shoppers to allow an additional 3-4 days for delivery during these periods due to the forecasted spike in orders. 

“For those living in regional cities, please allow for up to 4-6 days to be on the safe side.”

Black Friday is the term for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the USA, 25 November, traditionally a big day for retail sales.

The trend has since been adopted in Australia.

While the actual Black Friday date shifts each year, the day of the week – Friday – remains constant. 

In a survey conducted in February 2021, and designed to anticipate consumer shopping habits, CP found that Black Friday is shaping up to be the biggest shopping event of the year, second only to Boxing Day sales.

Mr Roper says the findings suggest lockdowns and restrictions have solidified the online shopping habits of many consumers, with many more likely to spend big during the busiest two months of the year. 

Some experts are more modest in their forecast, predicting consumers will spend more than $58 billion in-store and online during the sales events leading up to Christmas.

“The rapid uptake of major sales events combined with the eCommerce boom in general and supply chain bottlenecks has put retailers and couriers under significant pressure over the last 18 months,” Mr Roper said.

“During last year’s Christmas period, CP handled more than eight million parcels and we’re already anticipating and preparing for a 30% increase on those volumes this year. 

“We’re seeing a growing trend of online retailers offering ‘early-bird’ or ‘extended’ sales promotions for major shopping events that are typically promoted as one-day events to maximise revenue. 

“As a result, parcel volumes remain high over longer periods of time, causing longer and more intense strains on parcel networks.”

Research also uncovered the types of goods consumers will be most likely to purchase during this year’s major shopping events. 

A third, 34%, are expected to shop for technology, electronics, appliances and furniture, while a quarter, 25%, will purchase fashion items.  

Mr Roper says shoppers are best to remember Christmas cut-off dates.

“At CP, our cut-off date for domestic deliveries in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane is 10 December, in Adelaide it is between 7 and 10 December, and in Perth it is 3 December. 

“For those in regional parts of NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, the cut-off dates are between 1 and 3 December. 

“For Australians in regional WA, the cut-off date is 26 November.”

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