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22 November 2017 | ITSM
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Black Friday Splits Public Opinion
Black Friday shoppers plan to spend 16% more than they did last year, but 34% say they are not interested, and a further 11% will intentionally avoid it...

UK shoppers are increasingly willing to part with their money during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a new survey of 2,000 UK adults by Opinium for PwC reveals. The promotional weekend, a Thanksgiving import from the US, begins on 24 November this year and will be most popular with the younger generation of shoppers. Over two-thirds (70%) of shoppers under 25 surveyed say they are interested in the weekend’s sales. Across the UK, Londoners intend to spend the most money (an average of almost £300), whilst shoppers in the East Midlands, East of England and Wales will all spend less than £150 each.

Technology and electricals are by far the most in demand items, with 50% of UK shoppers who intend to part with their money over the Black Friday weekend saying they’ll spend most of their money on these categories. Toys, homeware and clothing are less popular, but one in five Black Friday shoppers still intend to spend money on them.

“Technology and electrical items are in demand this Black Friday weekend and retailers who specialise in these areas can’t afford not to have a Black Friday promotion in the UK - it’s here to stay. The promotional weekend isn’t as vital for some sectors, such as fashion retailers, but undoubtedly still presents an opportunity for the whole UK retail industry” said Lisa Hooker, Consumer Markets leader at PwC.

“UK shoppers are increasingly willing to part with their money on Black Friday and we expect the fastest spending growth to come from younger shoppers, who are more likely to purchase on impulse. If retailers do their research and promote the right products at the right prices, they should once again see strong sales.”

Key survey findings include:

  • Three quarters of Black Friday spending will be done online or by mobile, with only a fifth (21%) of purchases being made in store.
  • Black Friday is more about buying things for ourselves than presents for others, with 62% of shoppers (and 71% of men) planning to treat themselves in the sales.
  • Only a fifth of Black Friday spending is expected to be on Christmas presents, so retailers still have all to play for in December.

“Black Friday is not yet threatening the Christmas shopping period, with our survey showing the majority of purchases made over the weekend will not be gifts. Therefore, the first few weeks of Christmas shopping in December will still be vital for retailers, who will need to carefully manage their stock availability, IT systems and delivery infrastructure to deal with both shopping periods” added Lisa Hooker.

“Black Friday does have the potential to cannibalise the January sales, a shopping period more traditionally used by consumers to buy items for themselves - something shoppers may now be bringing forward to November.

“Many Black Friday sales have begun early and will extend past the weekend and could be turning into 'Black Fortnight' in some sectors. Whilst perhaps due in part to subdued October sales, it also reflects more planned promotions over this period.  Although we predict another year of Black Friday sales growth in the UK, it does fall comparatively early this year, before pay day for many consumers. This may present a cashflow issue for some shoppers and could result in slightly more muted growth.”

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