High Streets Initiative · 14 November 2018

£10.4bn Black Friday sale promises to alleviate pressure on retailers

Black Friday 2018
UK shoppers spent £6bn on Black Friday 2017

Hard-pressed retailers are set for a welcome boost as shoppers get set to spend big on Black Friday 2018, new figures have revealed.

Figures from data and analytics group GlobalData revealed that Black Friday – a promotional event coinciding with the US Thanksgiving celebrations – will record a 3.1% sales growth on the same period last year.

It will be worth £10.4bn in the UK this year which, according to retail analyst Zoe Mills, will account for 10.5% of overall fourth quarter spend in a sector which has been battered throughout 2018 by uncertain consumer spending and higher costs.

Fashion & beauty will be the best performing sector during the Black Friday period with sales forecast to grow by 3.8% on 2017.

“We have seen more clothing retailers participating in the event each year and while a number of big names such as Marks & Spencer are not participating, online pureplays such as ASOS, boohoo.com and Gymshark are encouraging consumers to move online to get a discount,” said Mills.

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Black Friday

 

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“Despite strong growth forecast in the electricals sector of 3.2%, it will not be the driving force of Black Friday this year as other sectors outperform. While the discounting event has primarily focused on this sector in the past, budget-friendly devices and softer demand for big-ticket items will ensure that certain categories such as major kitchen appliances and small domestic appliances are increasingly more of a replacement purchase, with fewer consumers looking to upgrade these items ahead of them breaking.”

Mills forecasted that the home sector will be the weakest sector this year after a muted performance so far and coming up against tough comparatives. Retailers such as B&Q have also stated that they won’t participate this year reducing consumer appetite to wait to bag a bargain.

“The Black Friday event has a big impact on the timing of purchases over the fourth quarter with 39.9% of 2,000 UK shoppers surveyed in November 2018 stating that they intend to purchase an item on promotion during the discounting period and of those shoppers, 55.8% are delaying a purchase to benefit from anticipated reduced prices,” added Mills.

“It highlights how Black Friday is encouraging shoppers to hold back buying full price items and purchasing during other discounting periods prior to the event as shoppers predict that retailers will drop prices even further during Black Friday, heavily impacting retailer sales in the weeks prior to the event.”

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