Launceston's shoppers and retailers have been gearing up this week for what could be another record year for Black Friday sales.
Australia Post is expecting another huge turnout this year for Black Friday and its online equivalent, Cyber Monday. In 2020, Australia Post recorded more than $5.5 billion in sales during the two-week period surrounding the two sales events.
With another record year expected and continuing freight and logistical delays driving shoppers back to CBDs around the nation, more of Launceston's bargain hunters are likely to hit the city's high-street mainstays this year.
That sentiment has been echoed by Robin Smith, owner of Coffee Republic, which sits in the Brisbane Street Mall. Mr Smith said he was expecting this weekend to be the "busiest one ever", following an increase in business in the week leading up to the sales event.
And it's not just the big brands putting up sales to lure in eager pre-Christmas buyers, with several Launceston-owned and -operated establishments hoping to get in on the action. Bill Lowe, owner of pawnbroker SJ's City Cash, said he was hoping Black Friday sales would help draw customers to the shop's new location.
"This is the first year we've done a Black Friday sale. We want to promote that we've recently moved to the Quadrant Mall from our old store on Brisbane Street," he said.
Mr Lowe is also hoping to direct customers unable to visit to the store's online arm.
"Our online sales have been growing and buying direct through our website instead of through a third party is better for us," he added.
Likewise, Launceston Camera House owner Andrew Cassidy said his business has joined in with the Black Friday sales over the past three years.
"Consumers are very savvy and the bargains are very hot this time of year. It's already been busy this week."
Despite the competition from national and international retailers, Mr Cassidy said the big chain could match what his team offered.
"The big guys don't scare us. We're the place to go to because the people we employ are experts and we look after our customers," he said.
Mr Lowe and Mr Cassidy were not alone in their predictions for a busy weekend, with Launceston Cityprom chief executive Amanda McEvoy expecting a big turnout throughout the CBD.
"Year on year we're seeing more and more shops getting on board with Black Friday and we're expecting to see trade to follow that, especially as more people continue to shop locally," she said.
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