UK reaches peak Black Friday, PwC survey

UK reaches peak Black Friday, PwC survey

Consumer interest in Black Friday has begun to plateau in the UK, although it has established itself an important shopping event for many, according to research by PwC involving 2,000+ people.

Brits are preparing to spend an average of £234 at the tills and online during this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping periods. This is exactly the same as 2017. 50% also state they are not interested in the promotions, with 11% warning they would be purposely avoiding shopping altogether. 

Only a quarter of all Black Friday spending is expected to take place in physical stores this year. Time-pressured families are more likely to be turning to their mobile devices, with 35-44 year olds almost twice as likely to spend by phones as on the High Street.

“The pattern of retailer promotional activity has altered dramatically since Black Friday was popularised in the UK. In the past two years, we’ve seen retailers launch special promotions in the weeks running up to Black Friday, before returning to full price for the key Christmas present buying period of early-to-mid December,” says Kien Tan, Retail Strategy director at PwC.

“Some retailers have worked with their suppliers to bring in special products specifically for Black Friday, in electricals for example. This has helped to stimulate sales volume and manage profit margins, and avoid the blanket store-wide promotions of the past. So consumers need to be act quickly if they find a bargain, as it may be gone come early December.”

Several large British retailers have publicly stated that they will not be participating in any Black Friday promotions this year, preferring instead to invest in year-round lower prices. Yet those targeting younger consumers or young families ignore this event at their peril, PwC warns.

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