UK retail sales expected to get a £10bn Black Friday boost as 81% of UK shoppers expect to participate in the annual shopping bonanza.

Wow has it really been a year since I convinced myself that I needed a brand-new juicer? This year I’ve got my eye on a 55-inch flat screen smart 4K TV with a sound bar to boot!

Black Friday is now for many of us is the start of the Christmas shopping season, which see’s us attack the high street and cyberspace with as much vigour as a herd of charging wildebeest, hunting down the must-haves we have only come to realise in a very short space of time we could not do without.

Friday 24th November will see almost every major UK retailer participate at some level in Black Friday, with the hope of kick-starting the recent sluggish performance of UK retail sales.

According to GlobalData, retail sales over the Black Friday week are forecast to hit over £10bn, boosting sales by 3.8% and reversing the poor growth in sales experienced over the last few months.  This projected uplift in UK retail sales is driven by our excitement and enthusiasm towards large sales events that do not seem to show signs of slowing down anytime soon.

In anticipation of this year’s Black Friday event, Periscope By McKinsey conducted a survey amongst 510 UK consumers in October to measure consumer sentiment towards Black Friday in 2017.  The findings showed that whilst Black Friday was born in the US, only 44% of US consumers claimed they would be shopping this year – dwarfed by the 81% of UK consumers who expect to participate in this year’s annual shopping bonanza.

The same report by Periscope By McKinsey goes on to show that scepticism about Black Friday being a marketing trick seems to be falling, with 37% of UK shoppers saying they’ve grown to like it more. This year’s event is likely to see more of us adopt an omnichannel approach to secure the best deals as almost a third of us (31%) are planning to conduct our Black Friday shopping both in-store and online, a rise of 20 points vs. 2016 – highlighting the growing importance of creating shopping experiences that connect physical stores and online channels into a single cohesive shopping journey.

With household budgets under continued pressure due to rising inflation and the recent hike in interest rates by the Bank of England, consumers are unsurprisingly embracing opportunities to save where they can.  I mentioned earlier that 81% of UK consumers expect to participate in Black Friday 2017 – what I did not mention until now is that Periscope By McKinsey found that only 22% of those surveyed last year planned on shopping during Black Friday in 2016, which goes to show the level of consumer determination to bag a bargain in the current uncertain climate.

Like me, millions of UK consumers will be hunting for a bargain come Friday and according to Springboard with 20% more of us hitting UK high streets during the Black Friday event retail sales are surely going to receive a much needed boost to kick-start the Christmas shopping season.


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