Squiz Today / 29 November 2019

Squiz Today – Friday, 29 November


“They were very, very angry.”

Said Geoff Rissole of Port Pirie residents’ reaction to being featured on his Facebook account. Which isn’t entirely unreasonable given he co-manages a page called ‘Sh*t Towns of Australia’...


Chances are you had to wade through your inbox to find us this morning… That’s because every retailer you’ve ever given your details to has sent their Black Friday sale offers enticing you to spend, spend, spend… And if it feels like these US Thanksgiving-inspired shopping events are more of a thing this year, you’re right. Last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales in Oz were almost 30% up on 2017. And Australia Post says it expects another 20% growth this year. Which means between now and Monday, we are expected to spend more online than we ever have before.

Like you need our permission to do anything... But some food for thought while you browse the shops online:

• The world is doing more of its shopping online. According to Deloitte, e-commerce accounts for about 20% of global retail sales. In Australia, it's more like 10%. But across the board, it's the fastest-growing segment of the retail market.

• Australians spent $27.5 billion online in 2018, up nearly 25% from 2017. By 2021, that's expected to rise to $35 billion. For context, that’s about the level of revenue Coles Supermarkets took in the 2019 financial year.

• And despite our small population, Australia is the 10th largest e-commerce market in the world. And you know how important it is for national pride that we rank in the top 10 of any list, so well done us.

You have been paying attention… Interest rate cuts have made us feel jittery about the economy. Add to that a slightly increasing unemployment rate and low wages growth, and we’ve not been hitting the shops a lot. So analysts are interested in how we react to these sales, and retailers are hoping we come out in droves. The deep discounting that Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales bring just before Christmas might be the thing that gets our shopping juices flowing. And may the odds be ever in your favour…

Which takes us to this week’s Squiz Shortcut on the online mega sales. Jump in to get the lowdown on how these sales are changing retail as shoppers hunt for a bargain.



Energy Minister Angus Taylor is expected to be prevented by Labor to go to the big climate summit in Madrid next week. Because Morrison has a slim majority in the House of Reps, and with Parliament sitting next week, it's important that any government MP who needs to be absent gets a 'pair'. That's nothing rude... It means that Labor would need to agree that one of its MPs would sit out any vote, so the balance of power remains the same. And with Taylor under investigation over mistaken claims he made over Sydney Council’s travel budget, Labor says another minister can go, but not him. Meanwhile, the Coalition Government came up short in the Senate when its legislation that would “make unions accountable for their actions” was defeated late yesterday. After months of government talks with One Nation and independent Senator Jacqui Lambie, they blindsided Team Morrison by siding with Labor to vote down the bill.


Three years after being kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan, Australian academic Timothy Weeks arrived home late last night. The 50yo Wagga local was freed 10 days ago under a prisoner swap deal and handed over to US authorities. Senior politicians and diplomats from Afghanistan, the US and Australia were involved in negotiating his release. Reports say the swap was part of an effort to restart talks between the Afghanistan Government and the Taliban to bring the 18-year war to an end and allow for the eventual withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.


Commentators thought US President Donald Trump was going to veto it, but yesterday he signed legislation supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Expressly, the law authorises sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials involved in human rights abuses and requires an annual review of the special trade status that Washington grants Hong Kong. You can imagine how China took the news (hint: like the people of Port Pirie)... Trump says he did it in the hope that China and Hongkongers “will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all.” Still, Trump waited until after US markets closed ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday so local investors had an opportunity to get their ‘OMG what about trade negotiations’ freak-out over and done with.


With summer starting on Sunday, the Bureau of Meteorology has updated its national forecast for the season. And it’s scorchio… The "generally warmer than normal conditions over much of the country, with particularly dry conditions for the east” will leave us feeling fresh as an 18,000yo pup... If you’d prefer a visual representation of what that forecast looks like across the country, here you go. That’s tough news given we’re heading towards Australia’s driest spring on record. Long story short, there’s little hope of water reserves being replenished or dangerous fire conditions easing anytime soon.


The Herald Sun’s Anthony Dowsley and Patrick Carlyon last night took home the Gold Walkley - Australian journalism’s highest honour - for their coverage of Victoria’s ­Lawyer X scandal. In other notable nods, Chris McGrath from Getty Images was named the Press Photographer of the Year for his work in Turkey, Syria, Kosovo and Hong Kong. As for books, Leigh Sales’ Any Ordinary Day was a winner. The ABC’s Sue Spencer was recognised for her work as executive producer of Four Corners. And for our favourite award, Baz McAlister from the Courier Mail was recognised for his headline writing skills. 'Time to Haul Ass' (about a donkey rescue), 'Give 'Em a Finch and They'll Take a Mine' (about the endangered bird found at the Adani mine site), and 'Halal… Is it Meals You're Sooking For' (about Muslim prisoners causing a "jail tucker ruckus") were his work. The complete list of winners is here.


In the mood to hit the online shops? Plug in the Honey plugin first. It checks the retailer’s site you’re on to ensure you’re getting all the discounts they’re offering. You’re welcome.

With an abundance of Thanksgiving instructionals on the interwebs this week, we thought this guide to carving a turkey could be handy come Christmas time.

The four essentials to party catering? Dips, chips, nuts and olives. Ok, that came from a 90s function we were organising that is seared into our brains. But a good dip is something to behold. This is a complete guide to greatness, and the broad bean dip is our pick of the bunch.


2.30pm - Test Cricket - Australia v Pakistan - Adelaide

Annual General Meetings - Premier Investments; Retail Food Group

Birthdays for philanthropist Janet Holmes à Court (1946) and songwriter Don Walker (1951)

The first anniversary of the death of George HW Bush, 41st President of the US, and anniversary of the death of George Harrison (2001)

St Andrew’s Day

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare

Anniversary of the birthdays of Mark Twain (1835) and Winston Churchill (1874)

World AIDS Day

Antarctic Treaty turns 60yo

Anniversary of Papua New Guinea gaining self-governance from Australia (1973)

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