Australian Economy

Black Friday sickies will cost the economy millions

Australian shoppers will spend more on this week’s Black Friday sales than Boxing Day.

New research from Finder has found one in three Australians will shop during the Black Friday sales.

The sales succeed the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., and marks the start of the Christmas shopping period.

The sales have taken off around the world. In fact, the festive shopping event is expected to drive the market up to US$123.9 billion internationally.

But employers will be paying a big price as staff prepare to take the day off and take advantage of those sales.

Taylor Blackburn is a personal finance expert at Finder, who said Black Friday could cost Australian employers $192 million in lost productivity/

“Employers could be facing a spike in absenteeism this Friday as Aussie’s hunt down the best end of year deals.”

Men (4%) are more likely to call in sick to hit the shops than women (3%).

This is not a new phenomenon, as over 544,000 Australian workers have called in sick to go shopping this year.

“The holidays are a notoriously expensive time of year, compounded by the spiralling cost of living so the bigger discounts on offer during Black Friday may well be too enticing to pass up.”


The global retail market has changed over the past decade. A rise in instant purchases online has led to a decline in purchases made at traditional public outlets, according to Future Market Insights.

In addition, analysts believe the Covid-19 pandemic has seen a reluctance from customers to enter crowded stores.

“By luring more consumers into stores and encouraging online spending, Black Friday and Cyber Monday soon became a ‘thing’ that jumped borders to stake their claim Down Under,” said Erik Bigalk, who is a licensee at Calendar Club’s Sunshine Coast.

Finder’s research found millennials are most likely to call in sick to go shopping, with 7 per cent admitting they have taken a day off this year.

Clothing and shoes (69%), electronics and gadgets (36%), and food and alcohol (25%) remain some of the most popular items on shopping lists.

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