For almost the entirety of 2022, retailers, trade organisations and financial commentators warned that Australia’s epic post-Covid spending binge would head south.

Yet November retail sales figures spiked 7.7 per cent to $35.9 billion compared to the same month in 2021, reports the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), capping a phenomenal 15 consecutive months of retail growth.

Ben Dorber, head of retail statistics at ABS, said that the increasing popularity of Black Friday sales was a major contributor to the result. “With retail turnover increasing by more than one per cent in all states and territories, it’s clear that Black Friday sales are becoming increasingly popular across the country.”

Lindsay Carroll, interim CEO of the National Retailers Association (NRA), confirmed the ongoing trend. “Consumers have been constrained by increasing costs to everything from their groceries to power bills, and this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday presented the perfect opportunity to take advantage of great deals and discounts. It also shows the interest of consumers to bring their Christmas shopping forward to November.”

Key sectors reported strong growth for the month – cafes, restaurants and takeaway food (+24.8%), department stores (+7.6%) and clothing, footwear and accessories (+7.1%),

Queensland saw the highest level of year-on-year growth for the month – up 10.4 per cent – followed by South Australia (+9.5%), WA (+9.1%), NSW +8.9%), NT (+7.3%),  ACT (+7%) Tasmania (+6.5%) and Victoria (+3.4%).

November’s results remained strong when compared to the same period in 2021, added Paul Zahra, CEO of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA). “The result is particularly strong considering the cost-of-living squeeze. This data also marks 15 consecutive months of growth in retail trade, which is a phenomenal result considering the disruption and adversity the industry has weathered.”

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