Dan Murphy’s Managing Director Agi Pfeiffer-Smith has revealed the top Christmas shopping trends at the retailer, with customers spending up big on premium beer, wine and spirits despite cost-of-living pressures.
“Customers are planning for some big celebrations. They’re planning to indulge still,” Managing Director Agi Pfeiffer-Smith told the Australian Financial Review.
“We’re not really seeing any sign of trading down. All the early indications are good.”
Online buying of Christmas gift items was also peaking earlier than usual, up 40%, with purchasing done earlier than normal.
The categories seeing strong sales among the top Christmas shopping trends were whiskies from Japan and Australia at the end of November, along with champagne and sparkling wine.
The retailer said it is well prepared for the busiest trading season of the year, and has employed the 2200 casual team assistants it set out to hire in September, and does not foresee any disruptions to supply.
“We are focused on delivering a great Christmas for our customers, and this year, we have pulled forward our inventory and worked very hard to ensure we have great availability of a range of products typically popular at this time of the year, including imported items such as Champagne,” Pfeiffer-Smith said.
Champagne and Sparkling are the two sub-categories that see the biggest uplift over the Christmas period, with nearly five times the amount of Champagne being sold in the Christmas week compared to a normal week. Customers also spend more on red wine and fortified wine for gifting, and Australian whisky sees an uplift too.
Black Friday spending tops $7 billion in Australia
Pfeiffer-Smith said wine sales during the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday across the Dan Murphy’s chain had been the highest since the Easter trading week.
“We had an incredibly busy Black Friday and Cyberweek, as our team was all-hands-on deck beating competitors’ offers – the big winners were our customers, of course,” she said.
“We are expecting to beat thousands of competitor prices this December. Dan Murphy’s is determined not to be beaten on price this festive season.”
The drinks retailer has invested in cutting-edge technology and a dedicated team to reinforce its ‘Lowest Liquor Price Guarantee’ offer. The company has invested in electronic shelf labels (ESLs) in its stores – with more than 10 percent of the fleet now using the technology
NAB transaction data shows Australians spent an estimated $7.1 billion across this year’s four-day Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping event, with spending up 20% compared with the week prior.
NAB Executive for Small Business Ana Marinkovic said: “Each year the deals get bigger and better, with many Australians waiting for the American inspired Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts before doing their gift shopping.”
The NAB data also shows Australians preferred online shopping to brick and mortar stores, with online spend up 24% and spend at physical terminals up 11% on the week prior.
Broken down by state, the biggest increases in spend were seen in Victoria and Tasmania, up 20%, followed by ACT and WA – up 17% and 12% respectively.
A national survey of Australians by McCrindle found that:
- 88% of Australians said they had heard of Black Friday
- One in two (50%) planned to check out the sales (up from two in five 40% the year prior)
- 39% said they plan out what they want to buy in the Black Friday sales
- Two in five (41%) agreed that they use Black Friday to kick start their festive shopping
- Although 71% said they enjoy the in-person shopping experience, 43% said they would be doing their shopping online.
“The speed at which Black Friday and Cyber Monday have gained traction in Australia has been remarkable,” said Mark McCrindle.
Engagement with Black Friday is also being driven by younger Australians, who were more likely to have said they would planned to advantage of or at least check out the sales compared to their older counterparts (71% Gen Z and 68% Gen Y, cf. 50% Gen X, 25% Baby Boomers and 15% Builders). It is Australia’s younger generations that are the most tuned in to American cultural trends and global retail and so aware of and planning for Black Friday.
These younger consumers are also savvy online shoppers and similarly much more likely to participate in Cyber Monday sales.
“Over the next decade, as these emerging generations become the mainstream consumers, these sale days that emerged in the US, will likely become Australia’s biggest retail days,” McCrindle predicts.