Black Friday set to be worth £10.4bn in the UK in 2018, says GlobalData

Gadgets, Retail

Black Friday sales are forecast to grow faster than the UK retail market in Q4 2018, as the promotional period draws in spend from before and after the event.

Says Zoe Mills, Retail Analyst at GlobalData:

“Spend during the Black Friday period accounted for 10.5% of Q4 spend. Growth will continue to slow year-on-year given the prolific discounting throughout 2018 so far as retailers struggle to convince shoppers to spend.

“Fashion & beauty will be the best performing sector during 2018’s Black Friday period, 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 in the event, online pureplays such as ASOS, and Gymshark are encouraging consumers to move online to get a discount.

“Despite strong growth forecast in the electricals sector (+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.

“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.

What is Black Friday?
It is generally regarded as the beginning of the Christmas Shopping Season in the US and now the UK with many retailers opening very early to offer promotional sales. For those wanting  to avoid the crowds, there are also bargains available online during Black Friday. 
When does it take place?
It is the day after Thanksgiving in the US so this year takes place on Friday November 23rd. However, many retailers extend ‘Black Friday’ with events that take place over a number of days or even weeks, leading up to Xmas.
How does Black Friday get its name?
It’s complex. The first use of the term dates back to the crash of the US gold market in 1869. However back in the 1950s police in the city of Philadelphia used the term to describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, when shoppers and tourists flooded into the city in advance of the big Army-Navy football game. The official story is that the name derives from the day when retail companies are supposed to move out of the red (ie. loss) into the black (ie. into profit).

“The Black Friday event has a big impact on the timing of purchases over Q4 – 39.9% of 2,000 UK shoppers surveyed in November 2018 stated 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.

“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.”

* Black Friday period is defined as Monday 19 November – 26 November 2018 inclusive. It is forecast to grow by 3.1% versus 2017 (Monday 20 – Monday 27 November 2017)

Chris Price
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