Black Friday sales up £1.5 billion, but down on IMRG’s forecast

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Nearly £1.5 billion (£1.49bn) was spent with UK online retailers on Black Friday 2018, up 7.3% on the same day last year. However, substantially down on IMRG’s original forecast of 13.2%.

According to Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director, IMRG, this was down to three main reasons. Firstly many retailers began their campaigns earlier than expected.

“IMRG monitors 260 retail websites throughout November,” he said. “On the Monday leading into Black Friday week in 2017, 36% of retailers tracked had their campaigns live – this year it was 40%, including some very big names who did not go as early last year. These longer campaign durations seem to have been successful in pulling volume forward.”

The second reason relates to the category of product being sold. On Monday, sales for electricals, which carries many high-cost products, were up +24%, Tuesday +16.5%, and Wednesday +17%. On Black Friday itself, sales growth for electricals was just +0.6%, suggesting much of the high-cost purchasing had already been done earlier in the week.

Finally the third reason relates to payday. Black Friday fell on 23 November this year, the earliest it can fall, which means there is still a Friday left in the month.

Concluded Mulcahy:

“For those who get paid in the last week of the month, Black Friday may have been unfortunately timed. It could mean that Cyber Monday and indeed the full week following it could feature significant sales activity from that group of shoppers.”
 

 
Chris Price