Over a quarter of UK consumers wait for sales to shop, IMRG research finds


Over one in four people (27%), the UK online retail association, and digital insights company Toluna.

A further 30% said the type of product influences whether they are likely to wait for an event like BlackFriday, with price range highlighted as a strongly determining factor. While 90% of respondents had paid full price for an item below £10 in the past year, just 60% had paid full price for an item below £50 and only 40% for an item above £100.

UK shoppers are also becoming more sceptical of sales, with 29% saying they respect brands that don’t get involved in events like Black Friday. In addition, 61% say they don’t trust the discount claims made by brands that do participate in major sales events.

This attitude towards sales is reflected in how UK shoppers perceive value. A majority of UK shoppers (83%) say that value to them means getting a good price, while only 20% say that value means getting a discount.

More than half of UK shoppers (58%) say they will pay full price if an item is good quality, with other popular reasons for paying full price being if they really want the product (51%), or if there is a tight deadline (26%).

Paul Twite, UK MD of Toluna: “In the run-up to Black Friday, and with Christmas approaching, we partnered with IMRG to ask 1,000 UK shoppers what they think about discounting. The findings indicate shoppers are not overly motivated by ‘sales’, and show how important it is to monitor the pulse of changing consumer opinion as it evolves.”

Andy Mulcahy, editor of IMRG, said: “It’s a tricky balance for retailers – on the one hand people are saying that value to them doesn’t mean discounting, yet major discounting events have become engrained in the minds of shoppers so they expect them to happen at set times of year. It will be interesting to see if retailers can hold their nerve on the rate and scale of discounting over the Black Friday period this year, how shoppers respond and what impact it all has on peak patterns.”