Last year saw 91% of UK retailers taking part in Black Friday. This year saw more retailers jumping on the bandwagon and there were even bigger online discounts spread over the Black Friday weekend.
So. Was it worth it? How did sales fare?
How Did We Do?
UK consumers were forecast to have spent £7 billion over the Black Friday weekend.
This year most sales were online with time-limited discounts typically of between 20 and 30%.
Other deals included:
Jaeger – free gift when you spent £100
New Look, Top Shop and Vestiaire Collective – 50% off
Urban Outfitters – buy one item get a second half price
Some stores such as John Lewis slashed prices ahead of Black Friday leading consumers to spread their spending over a longer period of time.
Indeed, Barclaycard reported that overall, shoppers spent less on Black Friday than last year, with 10% more transactions on its credit/debit cards, but total spend down 10%.
Many retailers introduced new deals on Cyber Monday to try and encourage further spending, leading to Cyber Monday sales exceeding those of Black Friday.
Other retailers such as Whistles and Jigsaw participated in Black Friday for the first time this year, with the US phenomenon now firmly intrenched in the UK psyche.
But at what cost? An increase in sales but slashed profit margins come at a huge cost to retailers, leading to concerns over long term sustainability.
The greatest threat however appears to be economic uncertainty, putting further strain on consumer spending.
Here in the UK, Brexit looms large with the political uncertainty causing stock market turmoil.
While in the US, trade wars and rising interest rates threaten to further squeeze margins.
In China however their Global Shopping Festival on November 11th (aka ‘Singles Day’) puts Black Friday to shame, with an astonishing $30.8 billion in sales this year. Increasingly European retailers are catching on and offering Singles Day discounts online to kick start the spending season.
So, will others follow suit next year to capitalise on the Chinese market? One thing that is certain is that 2019 will bring further uncertainty and only the strongest retailers will survive.
We’d love to hear from you. How do you think retailers will fair over the rest of the holiday season? How do you think Brexit will impact sales?
Email us your thoughts.
Image by rawpixel on Unsplash.