The cost of living crisis casts a shadow over Black Friday in Britain

The cost of living crisis casts a shadow over Black Friday in Britain

LONDON: UK retailers are hoping the Black Friday discount day will encourage shoppers to spend, though it comes against the backdrop of a worsening cost-of-living crisis and the distraction of the World Cup.
Britons will spend £8.7 billion ($10.5 billion) over the Black Friday weekend (November 25 to November 28), according to research from GlobalData for VoucherCodes – a 0.8% year-on-year increase that represents a large drop in volumes once inflation is factored in.
Consumers have cut spending as rising inflation – which hit a 41-year high of 11.1% in October – is eroding disposable income. And they started their Christmas shopping early this year to help budget their finances.
This year, consultants say, consumers will use Black Friday, which has become more of an online event, much more to jump on spontaneous deals and Christmas gifts than for larger, postponed purchases McKinsey.
The research shows that a quarter of UK consumers have done all their Christmas shopping, with around one in ten planning to do most of it during Black Friday.
Some consumers may have other priorities as both Wales and England play in the World Cup on Friday.
Retailers across Europe fear the overall Christmas season could be the worst in at least a decade as shoppers cut back, while the cost of doing business shows no signs of abating, putting pressure on profit margins.
HOLIDAY SALE
But many consumers still seem ready to shop Black Friday. Idealo, the European price comparison portal, said 65% of online Italian shoppers are ready to purchase a product at the event.
In France, 70% plan to shop on Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, according to research from PwC France.
Spaniards are less enthusiastic, however, with just 24% of shoppers planning to take advantage of Black Friday deals to get a head start on their Christmas shopping, according to the Spanish Association of Mass Consumer Goods Companies.
In the United States, the National Retail Federation (NRF) has forecast holiday sales to increase at a slower pace this year, while Amazon has forecast the slowest holiday sales growth in years.
In Britain, the Black Friday trading period is particularly important for department store group John Lewis, consumer electronics retailers Currys and AO World, and general merchandise retailer Argos, which is part of supermarket group Sainsbury’s.
But some major retailers, including Marks & Spencer, are largely eschewing the event.
More than a decade after it was brought to the UK by Amazon, opinions on Black Friday are still divided on the value of Black Friday for retailers.
Proponents say carefully planned promotions in close collaboration with global suppliers enable retailers to boost sales and maintain profit margins.
Opponents argue that the discounts are sucking Christmas sales forward with lower profits and undermining consumers’ willingness to pay full price again before the festivities.

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