Black Friday (23 November 2018) is becoming a true shopping event here, as it is in the USA, if this year's figures are anything to go by.
With a recent survey showing that some 60% of Kiwis were familiar with Black Friday - albeit fewer than the 77% global average - and ready and willing to shop for bargains, it's possible that Kiwi consumers were actively waiting for the event this year.
Indeed, according to the latest BNZ Marketview Consumer Spending Series, in the week before Black Friday (week ending 18 November), overall spending here actually fell by almost 2%.
Having said this it's noteworthy however that spending on appliances was +11.7% in that same week.
Now Paymark figures released today suggest that premise of consumers holding off could well be true, with 2018 Black Friday spending at core non-food retail through the Paymark network of $69.7 million, a massive 54% increase on the previous Friday.
And, although this is "just" 20% above Black Friday last year, less than might have been expected perhaps given the far broader range of NZ retailers working the Black Friday frenzy this year, Adobe Digital figures show Black Friday 2018 spending growth in the USA wasn't too dissimilar at 23.6% up on last year.
New Zealand's Black Friday spending this year also topped Boxing Day 2017 ($68m), although Paymark says it's likely that Boxing Day 2018 will be bigger still.
Interesting too to note that the Black Friday buying spike extended into Saturday 24 November when spending through Paymark at the same merchants was also well up (+15.9%) on the previous Saturday and +8.3% on the same Saturday in 2017.
Total spending through Paymark on Black Friday was $238.2 million, or +8.8% on Black Friday 2017, a far more modest increase compared to core non-food retail.