Consumers poised to treat themselves on Black Friday, Hammerson Shopper Tribes Report reveals

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Following on from the success of Black Friday 2014, where the majority of consumers (66%) polled as part of Hammerson’s Shopper Tribes Report said they took advantage of special offers to treat themselves, rather than stocking up on Christmas gifts, retailers are gearing up for this year’s event to ensure they are well prepared for the anticipated surge in footfall and sales.

The Shopper Tribes report, which analysed the purchasing habits of different age groups, established a ‘Black My-Day’ theme for BlackFriday last year, with an overwhelming majority (84%) of younger women aged between 18 and 34 using the event to treat themselves to fashion items or homewares, rather than taking advantage of Christmas gifting deals.  In fact, nearly three quarters (74%) of shoppers aged over 55 said that the event had absolutely no impact on the timing of their Christmas shopping.

As retailers get ready for the big event this year, will targeted discounts be geared towards another Black My-Day?  Or has the experience of last year shifted consumer expectations and focused greater attention on early Christmas bargains?  Data from Shopper Tribes indicates that more than half (53%) of consumers plan to use this year’s event to complete more of their Christmas shopping early.

Are retailers ready?

With 64% of shoppers polled claiming to have saved a lot of money last year, retailers can expect higher volumes of footfall and sales this year.  However, concerns remain around retailers’ preparedness.  With evidence of retailers struggling to cope with the volume of orders and fulfilment failures leading to customer disappointments, a significant number of consumers (65%) believed that retailers were not ready for Black Friday in 2014.   This year, there is evidence that retailers have invested heavily in upgrading logistics and multichannel capabilities, to ensure that they are well-placed to benefit from the anticipated increase in demand.

David Atkins, CEO Hammerson commented: “Early indications from retailers across our UK shopping centres is that Black Friday 2015 will be even bigger and better than last year’s event.

“Our Shopper Tribes report identified a ‘Black My-Day’ trend last year, with consumers treating themselves to the fantastic deals on offer, but as customers become more familiar with the phenomenon of Black Friday and build on their experiences from last year, we expect a greater proportion of shoppers from across our regional shopping centre portfolio to take advantage of the savings available on Christmas gift items.

“Mindful of protecting sales in the key Christmas trading period, retailers have indicated that a number of offers will be held back for December, although exclusive offers across electricals, clothing and footwear are expected to whet consumers’ appetite during Black Fridaythrough to Cyber Monday.”