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Black Friday and its Value for Small Businesses

Published November 25, 2022 (last updated on February 27, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Content Writer


Research from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has forecasted a record $6.2 billion in sales over the four-day weekend (Black Friday to Cyber Monday).

The Black Friday sales are the biggest pre-Christmas event on the retail calendar with growing popularity across Australia. Around 25% of Christmas shopping is completed in the Black Friday week alone.

Origins of Black Friday

Black Friday marks the Friday following Thanksgiving, usually observed on the fourth Thursday of November.

How did this day become so consumer-centric?

The origins of this day lie in American consumerism. Shoppers would flood local shops and malls the day after Thanksgiving, resulting in a surge that put retailers in the “black” for the year. It was called Black Friday to describe the intense traffic jams, foot traffic, and pandemonium around city centers and shops. Police authorities and personnel would struggle to manage the chaos often leading to stampedes and injuries. Sales associates would dread this day due to the frenzy for discounted merchandise. The retail industry saw an opportunity to capitalise on this and decided to adopt this day as a day of offers, discounts, and sales.

Recently, Black Friday has evolved into a global shopping festival where retailers offer massive discounts on big-ticket items and products.

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is the Monday following Black Friday. Another retail holiday with its roots in America, Cyber Monday originated in the early 2000s when online shopping was in the nascent stages. Retailers in America had seen a recurring spike in online revenue and traffic on the Monday following Thanksgiving. In 2005, the National Retail Federation issued a press release calling it ‘Cyber Monday’, outlining the trends and spikes of consumer behaviour.

However, it wasn’t until 2014 that Cyber Monday became America’s biggest online shopping day, bringing in $2 billion in sales. The number has only gone higher each year since then with retailers trying to outdo each other and offer big discounts and offers.

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Small Business and Black Friday

It has been a tough year for small businesses. The national minimum wage increased and created additional stress for business owners. It furthered the challenges of hiring staff in a tight labour market. Can small businesses afford to ignore the purchasing power of Black Friday? If they want to participate in this retail bonanza, what are the strategies they should consider?

Long-term strategy

30% of all retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. This number packs a punch for small business owners.

If you want to take advantage of the consumer mindset, think of the long-term implications for your business.

  • Can you afford to offer your products at a considerable discount every year?

  • Does it feel consistent with your brand values?

  • Can your supply chain and delivery system handle the excess orders every year?

  • How does it impact your productivity?


9.6 million Australians are expected to spend an average of $375 each on Black Friday.

These numbers are profitable for retailers but not for the planet. Most of these purchases will be bought online contributing to waste and a larger carbon footprint. Fast fashion is one of the most bought items during this period and is one of the most polluting industries worldwide.

A growing number of small businesses are looking to be sustainable and have adopted the idea of Green FridayIt is a four-day online retail event (starting on November 18) that encourages Australians to shop mindfully and reduce the excessive consumption encouraged by Black Friday sales.

If your business is seeking to be sustainable, how can you participate in Black Friday?

  • Offer in-store discounts rather than online, thus reducing packaging waste and delivery

  • Consider asking for people to recycle their old items or packaging that you can re-use

  • Donate a portion of sales towards your preferred charity or sustainable organisation

Prepare your business

The end of the year is a general time of shopping, merriment, and discretionary spending. It is also a time of extended shopping hours and busy delivery schedules and high customer expectations.

Small businesses need to prepare their staff, so they avoid unnecessary mistakes.

  • Hire additional staff or casuals for the Christmas season

  • Check your inventory

  • Ensure staff get enough break time and rest on busy days

  • Check all policies and procedures

How can Employsure help you?

During the busy festive period, you need the help and support to manage employees and ensure all health and safety policies are in place.

Call our 24/7 Advice Line today to get all your tricky questions answered.

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