Black Friday is a flagship shopping event in the United which runs over the weekend after the Thanksgiving public holiday.
Midway through Friday afternoon, Ms Lamb said reports from her members suggested the event would surpass those targets.”People are spending money earlier and people are starting to plan more,” she said.
Companies like Melbourne’s Adore Beauty said consumer awareness of Black Friday meant it had become bigger than ever before. “We have 60 brands participating, which is more than we’ve ever had. There are some pretty good bargains, actually,” founder Beauty Kate Morris said as the sales event kicked off.
The $52 million retailer had countless inbound inquiries in the days prior to Black Friday about what the company’s sales events would look like.
“It [sales] is probably been ahead of where we expected,” Ms Morris said midway through the day on Friday.
Traditionally Australia’s biggest online shopping day has been in the second week of December, though retail platforms believe this has now been replaced by Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Data from eBay this week predicted Friday would be its biggest day of the year, with 2.6 million Australians logging on.
Executive director of the Australian Retailers’ Association Russell Zimmerman said there was no doubt brands were “expecting a lot out of this particular weekend”, despite soft market conditions in the lead-up to Christmas.
“Three or four years ago, it was almost a blip — now, absolutely everybody is talking about it, everyone is involved in it,” Mr Zimmerman said. However, he said it was hard to predict exactly how much Australians will spend over the next four days.
Bricks-and-mortar brands also got in on the sales action across Australia, with brands like Smiggle and Peter Alexander offering deals across the weekend.
“Black Friday is one of those social events you can’t afford to miss, and I think it will be a net positive. Definitely. Absolutely no question,” chief executive of Smiggle owner Premier Investments, Mark McInnes said.
Black Friday will be followed by ‘Cyber Monday’ on December 2.
– with Dominic Powell.
Emma is the small business reporter for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald based in Melbourne.