Rundle Mall spending up over festive season

Adelaide shoppers spent significantly more in the 2023 festive season than in 2022, despite ongoing cost of living pressures, according to data released by the Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA).

Jan 22, 2024, updated Jan 24, 2024
Photo: Andrew Spence/InDaily

Photo: Andrew Spence/InDaily

Adelaide CBD shoppers spent $1.2 million more on Boxing Day 2023, a 22.5 per cent increase from 2022, but just $272,811 more on Black Friday, an increase of 2.5 per cent.

However, the total Black Friday sales were still significantly greater than Boxing Day.

“Many stores in Rundle Mall on Boxing Day had queues of customers right through till closing time,” AEDA’s executive manager of Rundle Mall Andrew White said.

Retail workers certainly felt the boost in people on Boxing Day, with a 26 per cent foot traffic increase from 2022, with many saying Black Friday was also very busy.

Rundle Mall Cotton On department manager Michael Eldridge said Black Friday foot traffic was at an all-time high.

“The foot traffic was extremely heavy and there was still a lot going on – we still had to roster our full team like we did [previously], but I think people are probably just spending a little bit less this year [2023] versus previous years,” he said.

Kallie Batzavalis, an employee at The Body Shop in Rundle Mall, noticed a difference in Black Friday spending too.

“I think with inflation prices and the cost-of-living crisis people aren’t spending the same amount as they used to… we’re getting the same amount of people, they’re just not spending as much,” Batzavalis said.

However, the official data for the city as a whole showed an increase in Black Friday sales – a relatively recent imported idea from the US.

AEDA reports that the Black Friday sale (falling on November 24 last year) generated a total of $11.1 million in spending across Adelaide.

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A total of $26.9 million was spent at retail businesses in the CBD between Black Friday and the following “Cyber Monday”, following 2022’s $22.9 million spend which was a 14 per cent decrease from the same weekend in 2021.

The Boxing Day sales generated just over $6.7 million in CBD sales, compared to $5.5 million in 2022.

Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra spoke last year about the spending levels of Australians on Black Friday amid the cost-of-living crisis.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend demonstrated that shoppers will still spend if they feel that they’re getting a great deal,” Zahra said.

People took full advantage of the extended retail opening hours during the 2023 festive season. Photo: Tony Lewis / InDaily

Retail workers also noticed a different trend, with customers’ attitudes towards them at their worst during the festive season.

“Typically I think anything where people have to wait for longer periods than usual, it definitely makes people a little bit… short with you,” Eldridge from Cotton On said.

“Some people know exactly what they’ve signed up for, which is completely great. But you definitely get a fair few people who just don’t have the patience and probably shouldn’t have come out that day.”

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