Britons’ fondness for a bargain will drive this year’s Black Friday weekend to new heights, but MasterCard SpendingPulse analysis of UK retail sales shows momentum slowing for the promotional shopping weekend and sales growth halving from 13% in 2014 to just 6.7% this year.
Over the four day Black Friday weekend, which includes ‘Cyber Monday’, UK consumers are expected to spend £5.9bn on all retail sectors (excluding fuel), of which online spending will top £1bn for the first time.
Mark Barnett, president of MasterCard UK & Ireland, said: “This year’s Black Friday weekend will be fascinating, as MasterCard SpendingPulse shows that so far in November consumers have held back spending in anticipation of savings. However, as we’re seeing some retailers are more wary of discounting this year. Last year, Black Fridaywas a huge success from a sales perspective, but it slowed shopping in December and led to disappointing Boxing Day sales.
“With this time of year so critical for retailer profitability, stores have tough choices to make. Discount deeply and they stand to increase low margin sales, or, spread their promotions across the pre-Christmas period and invoke strategies to protect full-price sales.”
Although growth in Black Friday weekend sales will slow this year, retailers have become more accustomed to the volume of sales expected over the four day window, and as such, are better prepared with stock levels and delivery capacity. These factors will help the Black Friday weekend continue to grow and overcome the technical issues of previous years.
Electronic goods will again be heavily sought after; however, clothing will also attract a significant share of consumer spend. Equally, while instore sales still account for substantial majority of all consumer expenditure over the Black Friday weekend, growth in online purchases at 17.7% will significantly outperform overall sales growth of 6.7%.