Black Friday kicks off in Australia as local retailers embrace American tradition

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Shoppers are reflected in the window of a retail store displaying a sale sign in central Sydney, Australia, October 10, 2016. Picture taken October 10, 2016. Reuters/David Gray

Hundreds of Australian retailers are cutting down prices as Black Friday kicks off on November 24. Local retailers have embraced the American tradition, falling on the Friday after Thanksgiving, with four-day sales to entice consumers.

Shopping centres like Indooroopilly hold sales in what has generally been a sluggish year for retailers. Black Friday in Australia also sees national retailers like The Body Shop and Lorna Jane slash prices by up to 50 percent.

The arrival of Amazon into Down Under was felt on Thursday, albeit in a small testing phase. Macy’s and other US retailers offer Australian shoppers flat shipping rates. It is also peak season for Australia Post’s ShopMate service, which allows customers to get US bargains shipped here.

National Retail Association chief executive Dominique Lamb has confirmed that more Australian businesses are embracing Black Friday, although the country’s major shopping sale has traditionally been on Boxing Day. In the US, Black Friday began as a tradition, while it has typically been the beginning of the Christmas in Australia.

Lamb added that Black Friday is a global market. Australian retailers get in touch with their demographics, granting the wish of customers. Shoppers see Black Friday sales abroad, and Aussie retailers choose to replicate similar offers.

Lamb said the state election had put a dampener on consumer spending. “We felt this Christmas could be a bit of a slow burner, so retailers are attempting to generate more foot traffic, and actually, what we are hearing from certain areas of Queensland is that they are very busy,” she said, according to Courier Mail.

Apple’s Black Friday deals in Australia

Apple’s Black Friday deals have gone live in Australia. It is offering an Apple Store gift card worth up to $210 with the purchase of selected iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches.

In its Australian homepage, Apple has the “Imagination is a gift” panel leading to a gifts page headed by the offer. The following are incentives in the form of an Apple Store Gift Card:  iPad, iPad Pro, iPad mini 4 - $140, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, iPhone SE - $70, Apple Watch Series 1 with white/black sports band- A35 and MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro - $210.

Apple is also promoting its holiday gifts. Some suggested products include AirPods, iPhone cases, Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch bands and iPad accessories.