Fri 29th Nov 2019
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Savvy has released the findings for its latest research investigating UK household shoppers’ plans for Black Friday and Christmas 2019. The findings indicate that UK retailers should expect a record Black Friday this year and that shoppers plan to cutback on non-essential Christmas expenditure.
The scale of Black Friday has increased further this year. The majority of retailers kicked off their Sale activity last Friday and we expect the Black Friday event will run well beyond the 29th, through Cyber Monday and beyond. As well as promotions on particular products, this year’s Sale has been characterised by blanket discounting across full ranges in some cases and heavy use of discount codes.
We do expect that the Black Friday uplift in sales will steal from full price retail sales. Indeed we find that 55 percent of us are planning specifically to buy Christmas gift during the Black Friday Sale.
The research suggests that while shoppers plan to maintain their spending in many areas, 30% of shoppers are planning to cut their Christmas spending budgets on more distant friends, relatives and acquaintances.
Record Black Friday participation
Attitudes towards Black Friday
Key research findings from the shoppers who do plan to celebrate Christmas (88 percent of UK shoppers):
Online is set to outperform this Christmas, maintaining the trend of recent years
Food spending under the shopper spotlight
There are a few areas where shoppers plan to increase expenditure this year
Areas of Christmas cutbacks are more extensive
Terrible weather, Brexit uncertainty and a General Election are not great news for retailers as we enter the final few weeks of Christmas shopping. That said, we do not expect retail sales to collapse this Christmas. Black Friday and other sale activity will help stimulate demand and, while shoppers are reviewing certain areas of non-core Christmas spending, overall spending looks set to hold up. However, growth opportunities will be thin on the ground and will mainly be enjoyed by online retailers. High street players have major challenges to attract footfall and encourage shoppers to spend. Profit is another major watch-out. Heavy discounting will encourage spending and help drive volume, but blanket discounting before Christmas will erode margins at a time when retailers are supposed to make the vast majority of their profit.
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