Record Black Friday expected as 53% of shoppers plan to buy


Many retailers have started their Black Friday sales in advance of the event on the 23rd November and Savvy’s latest research suggests this year the sale will be bigger than ever. Insight Director, Alastair Lockhart, explores what the findings suggest about consumer behaviour this year and what this means for retailers.

Despite 84% of shoppers believing there is too much hype surrounding Black Friday, this year 53% of UK shoppers plan to buy something during the event, up from 43% who made a purchase in 2017. Around a third of shoppers expect they’ll spend more this year than they did last year.

The findings highlight how younger shoppers are driving growing interest in Black Friday, with 71% of 18-24 year olds planning to buy something.

Most shoppers expect to shop Black Friday online (84% of those getting involved), however 42% plan to buy something in-store – with older shoppers most likely to get out to stores.

In large part due to heavy discounting from retailers like Amazon and Currys PC World, electricals is expected to be the largest Black Friday category. 54% of Black Friday shoppers plan to buy electricals, with clothing and footwear the second largest category (41% planning to buy).

Although some retailers actively avoid participating in the Black Friday sale, Savvy’s research shows the event is a concrete fixture in the retail event calendar. 62% of shoppers believe all retailers should have a Black Friday sale, and almost one-third see the event as the most important sale of the year.

From the retailer’s point of view we continue to see a professionalisation of the event. Retailers are planning the event far in advance, buying stock specifically for Black Friday, and a growing number have extended the sale beyond a week. With consumer confidence fragile, Black Friday can provide an opportunity for retailers to kick-start Christmas spending – the challenge will be maintaining their profit margin during the crucial Golden Quarter of trading.

Creative, digital and retail marketing agency Savvy is focused on shopper, retail and brand insight and has won multiple awards for its work. Clients include AB InBev, Mars, adidas, Pernod Ricard, Britvic and many other household names.