Nov 20, 2019
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UK shoppers to spend more this Black Friday - PwC report

Nov 20, 2019

There seems to be a lot of debate around how enthusiastically British shoppers will embrace Black Friday this year with some reports suggesting they'll be avoiding physical stores. However the latest study says that they’ll spend more overall this Black Friday.

UK consumers are increasing their Black Friday budgets

A new PwC Study of 10,000 consumers in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa and the UK, released on Wednesday, said that only half of Britons are either interested in or planning to buy something on the day. That's a smaller number than in any other country that the researchers reviewed.

Yet the event remains a must-participate for the electricals sector in Britain with over half of all Black Friday shoppers and over two-thirds of men, aiming to find a bargain in this category. But fashion is also key, even if other countries are more fashion-focused. PwC found fashion is actually the top category of interest for the French (53%) and the Dutch (46%), and the second most popular category in Germany (44%), Ireland (42%) and South Africa (49%). While a fairly hefty 29% of UK shoppers say they’re on the lookout for fashion bargains, this is significantly lower than the 45% who said this last year.

That could be due to an aversion to discretionary spending in the current uncertain economic environment. Or it could be a reaction to the ongoing discounting that has been seen in recent months.

But a number of UK fashion retailers have mentioned that following a slow September for clothing, attributed to unseasonably warm weather, they’ll be offering some good discounts across Black Friday, which may entice customers to spend more on this category.

Looking more closely at those Britons who plan to shop the event, 52% of consumers said they might or will shop on the day (which falls on November 29 this year). Those consumers will increase their budgets by 11%/£21 overall compared to last year to reach an average of £224. And men seem to be more enthusiastic than women. They're planning to spend a third more on the day (£254 compared to £191 for women) and 77% of them are likely to treat themselves.

But PwC found that UK consumers are increasingly cynical about Black Friday deals. In fact, consumers in every other country are more enthusiastic about the event than the UK, with over 81% in France, 84% in Ireland and 88% in South Africa either interested or planning to buy something. In the UK by contrast, while many consumers will spend more this year, a number of them are likely to spend less with almost a third saying that the deals available simply aren't exciting. And 20% believe that the details aren't genuine. It's interesting that those aged below 25 are the least impressed by Black Friday. Their spending will decline – falling 11% to £111 this year.

Among those hoping to find a bargain, this year’s average planned spend is up, as mentioned, to £224, with 35-44 year-olds planning to spend the most (up £32 to £288). Around the UK, Londoners are planning to spend the most (an average of £326), twice the spend of Scottish consumers (£155). 

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