Business development · 4 November 2015

UK retailers expecting to cash in on two-thirds of all Black Friday sales across Europe

British shoppers are Shoppers are predicted to spend £966m, compared to £1.53bn across the continent
British shoppers are Shoppers are predicted to spend £966m, compared to £1.53bn across the continent

British shoppers are leading the charge when it comes to Black Friday sales across Europe, with UK retailers predicted to rack up around two-thirds of all sales on November 27.

Shoppers are predicted to spend £966m, compared to £1.53bn across the continent, according to research commissioned by RetailMeNot.

The study looked at seven European countries – the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, along with the US and Canada, and combined interviews with over 450 retailers and 3,000 shoppers.

British retailers are bracing themselves for a deluge of shoppers – anticipating a record-breaking Black Friday, while online sales are expected to reach near £1bn. It is predicted that Black Friday sales will top £1.5bn in Europe for the first time, as UK shoppers make up around two-thirds of this spend.

It found that outside of the UK, Black Friday spend is expected to be highest in France and Germany, with the French spending £159m and Germanys shelling out more than £281m. Retailers expect shoppers in Italy to spend £45m, £38m in Spain, £26m in the Netherlands and £19m in Belgium.

In the US meanwhile, shoppers will spend £1.72bn on the day – an increase of 16 per cent on 2014, while Canadian retailers predict some £57m to be delivered in pre-Christmas sales.

Giulio Montemagno, SVP & GM international at RetailMeNot, said: “Black Friday is now a firm fixture on the UK retail calendar and retailers that were knocked sideways by Black Friday in 2014 are making sure they are fully prepared this time round.”

He explained this has involved preparation in the lead-up, with some retailers “delaying promotions in early November so as to capitalise upon the anticipated spike in sales on Black Friday and the start of the Christmas shopping period”.

Montemagno has seen many investing specifically to up the customer experience, after some came under criticism in 2014 as websites crashed and some retailers were left unable to fulfil all orders placed.

According to RetailMeNot, the top five ways in which UK retailers have been getting ready for the Black Friday onslaught are:

(1) Greater promotion of in-store ‘click and collect’ services

Some 86 per cent of retailers hope to ease the pressure on delivery firms and ensure that customers can get hold of their purchases quickly by encouraging more consumers to collect items in-store or use ‘commute-and-collect’ services such as Doddle.

(2) Create dedicated Black Friday shopping pages

The study said 84 per cent of retailers were planning to be more clear in signposting Black Friday deals online, so that shoppers could find deals faster and more easily.

(3) Longer delivery time for Black Friday orders

As there is still a lead-up to Christmas, retailers feel that most Black Friday sales don’t require next-day delivery, so 78 per cent are going to increase delivery time – requiring up to four or five additional days to deliver.

(4) Increased capacity and website bandwith

Many sites got overloaded last year, 78 per cent of retailers said they were planning to build in extra capacity into websites and rent additional bandwith for the time.

(5) More capacity in the distribution chain

To make sure deliveries can be made, 68 per cent of retailers are intending to rent more storage capacity near urban hubs, block-book delivery services in peak periods and use multiple distributors to avoid bottlenecks during the busiest times.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.

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