UK shoppers are ready to spend this Black Friday, EY report shows

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As Black Friday (26 November) approaches, the EY Future Consumer Index finds that nearly four in five (78%) UK consumers expect to spend the same amount or more this Black Friday weekend compared to previous years.

The EY survey of over 1,000 UK consumers also found that interest in Black Friday is significantly higher than last year, with almost half (45%) of the respondents expecting to participate in Black Friday events, up from 38%. However, reports of supply chain challenges and product shortages appear to be encouraging consumers to bring forward purchases that they would have normally made during Black Friday. This year, only 30% of consumers will be holding off on making some purchases until big shopping events, down significantly from 58% last year.

Silvia Rindone, EY UK&I retail lead, comments: “After a long journey through the pandemic, consumers are ready to have an extra-special festive season. Our survey shows that the appetite to spend is out there, and consumers are willing to plan and purchase early to ensure they have the experience they missed out on last year and avoid stock shortages.

“This year, with news of supply chain disruption and concerns around product availability, shoppers are bringing forward their Christmas spending and using the Black Friday events to make sure they get what they want. Retailers that are managing their supply chains to ensure the right products stay in stock and that who have delivered a great customer experience and value to shoppers will be best-placed to thrive.”

The easing of pandemic restrictions has brought shoppers back into stores for ‘retail therapy’, however the shift to online in the UK continues with nearly a quarter (24%) of shoppers planning on looking exclusively online for deals this year.

Rindone continues: “With consumers facing rising inflation, supply shortages and the ongoing pandemic, what can UK retailers hope to find under the tree this holiday season? Retailers and brands have a rare opportunity this year to use the holiday trading period to drive margin and recover some of the lost ground over the last 18 months. With many consumers intending to spend more this year – and with an accelerated shift towards online shopping – retailers must make sure their online offer is well thought through, stands out and, most importantly, delivers on the promise.”

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