Black Friday bonanza: ‘Look at my face. Is it bovvered?’

christmasRetailers looking to Black Friday to boost their Covid-depleted coffers will have to get their marketing to work much harder this year, with a new study revealing many consumers simply cannot muster any enthusiasm for one of the biggest events in the retail calendar.

Havas Media Group’s Black Friday and Winter Shopping Occasions study found that nearly half (45%) of people in the UK say they care less about Black Friday this year than they ever have. In fact, just over one in ten (14%) said they were still gagging for it.

When it comes to the generational divide, it is the 35- to 44-year-olds who felt the strongest and, in the words of Catherine Tate, 49% “ain’t bovvered”. Those plucky GenZers, the 18-to 24-year-olds, were most likely to be excited about bargains, however, with 51% licking their lips at the prospect.

When asked about their Black Friday spending plans, only 8% said they not partake this year, despite having done so in previous years, a quarter (26%) said they would spend less, and nearly a third (30%) said they would spend the same as last year.

The survey also revealed the impact of Covid-19 on shopping on the high street, with people keen to avoid the risk of looking for Black Friday deals in-store. Only a third (30%) of respondents plan to check out the deals at the shops on Black Friday, while even less (19%) plan to browse online and then go to a store to make a purchase.

When it comes to what people are planning to buy on Black Friday, the survey shows the food and drink category stands to gain the most, with 16% saying they intend to spend more than last year. Clothing, footwear and accessories see the biggest potential drop, with 29% saying they intend to spend less.

Havas Media Group chief strategy officer Eva Grimmett said: “While a significant number of people are still planning to spend the same amount this year, it seems (perhaps unsurprisingly) that there is less buzz around Black Friday than in previous years.

“Retailers must ensure their marketing works harder to get people excited about shopping for bargains this time around.”

Black Friday, which is an American tradition, started in the UK in 2013. More retailers have taken part in the ensuing years and the sales period has started to stretch out over a long weekend to include Cyber Monday; some retailers even offer discounts for a week or more.

Last year, Barclaycard, which processes nearly £1 of every £3 spent in the UK, said sales volumes from November 25 to December 2 were up 7.1% compared with 2018, while sales value rose by 16.5%.

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