Spending on sales over the Black Friday Weekend in the UK is set to decline in real terms as inflation and the cost-of-living crisis bite, according to forecasts.
New research by GlobalData for Vouchercodes.co.uk has predicted that the amount spent in stores and online over the core four days from Black Friday to “Cyber Monday” will hit £8.71 billion.
This is an increase of 0.8% year on year but, after taking into account inflation – currently at a rate of 11.1% – it is a drop in real terms.
It follows economists’ forecasts of a more substantial slump in December, with some predicting a 3% dip in consumer spending this Christmas due to the cost-of-living crisis.
Black Friday – a tradition imported from the US to mark the day after Thanksgiving and the start of the Christmas season – has become a key sales period in the UK, leading to Cyber Monday.
The Black Friday Weekend has become a time of peak demand for many garment decorators in the UK, especially those in the print-on-demand sector such as Inkthreadable and Printful and those in fashion.
According to GlobalData’s report for Vouchercodes.co.uk, the most popular purchases over the Black Friday Weekend are set to be clothing and footwear, which was cited by 47% of consumers.
The GlobalData report revealed that 39% of consumers planned to shop this Black Friday Weekend, and 41% said they expected to spend more than last Black Friday to get Christmas essentials such as gifts, decorations, food and drink at low prices.
Cyber Monday on 28 November is set to be the busiest day, with £3.17 billion expected to be spent – a rise of 0.3% on last year. However, Black Friday itself is set to see a decline in spend of 5.8% to £3.01 billion from £3.2 billion in 2021.
The decline this coming Friday is partly due to England’s second FIFA World Cup match against the USA taking place that evening when large numbers of people will be tuning into the match instead of shopping.
As a result, consumers are expected to shift their purchases to the following Saturday and Sunday, with forecasts of £2.53 billion in sales spend – a rise of 10.4% year on year.
GlobalData’s research also noted that some retailers are extending their Black Friday promotions to a two-week period from today (22 November) to 5 December. Over this longer period, consumers are forecast to spend a total of £22.62 billion – a 2.1% increase on the same period in 2021.
Anita Naik, savings expert at VoucherCodes.co.uk, said: “After a tough few months of rising living costs and economic uncertainty, this Black Friday will see a shift in how people shop during Black Friday Weekend.
“As our report shows, this year, shoppers will be much more thoughtful with their spending than has been commonly associated with Black Fridays of the past.”