Black Friday weekend sales forecast to reach £8.71bn

online_shopping2If some consumers are planning to rein in their spending this Black Friday weekend, others are seemingly splashing the cash with a new report predicting that retail sales will hit £8.71bn as consumers shop early for Christmas.

According to the VoucherCodes.co.uk Shopping for Christmas 2022: Black Friday Weekend report, two-fifths of consumers expect to spend more this year than last year over the four day period, although sales on Black Friday itself will fall by 5.8% to £3.01bn, as consumers watch the World Cup instead of spending.

With several retailers set to extend their Black Friday promotions to a two-week period, the report forecasts shoppers will spend a total of £22.62bn across “Black Friday Fortnight” (November 22 to December 5), a 2.1% (£463m) increase on the same period in 2021.

Amid some forecasting a 3% dip in consumer spending this Christmas due to the cost-of-living crisis, the report credits this rise in spend to consumers taking advantage of the deals and discounts on offer over the Black Friday period to stock up on Christmas essentials.

As a result of the cost-of-living crisis, consumers are also set to begin Christmas shopping earlier to spread the cost, spending more than in previous years during the Black Friday period.

Despite the strain on many consumers’ budgets, two-fifths of consumers still say they are likely to make a purchase over the Black Friday Weekend (39%), and 16% say they are very likely to purchase. A further two-fifths say they are likely to spend more this year than last year (41%).

Retailers of clothing and footwear are the most likely to see a Black Friday sales boost, as this category is poised to be the most popular, with half of Black Friday shoppers set to make a purchase (47%).

Big ticket items such as electricals are also set to be popular (44%), as will gifting categories such as toys (37%), health and beauty (32%), and games, music and film (24%).

Looking at each day of the Black Friday Weekend individually, Cyber Monday is set to be the most lucrative day for retailers, generating £3.17bn, a rise of 0.3% year-on-year (YoY). However, sales on Black Friday itself are expected to fall by -5.8% to £3.01bn from £3.20bn last year.

With Black Friday taking place on the same day as England’s match against the USA in the FIFA World Cup, it is expected that many consumers will be tuning into the match from 7pm instead of shopping. As a result, this spend is set to shift to the Saturday and Sunday with expected sales of £2.53bn – a rise of 10.4% year on year.

This year’s Black Friday Weekend is the first year since 2019 without any Covid restrictions and, as a result, many consumers will return to bricks-and-mortar stores to shop in-person.

Due to this shift, offline sales are forecast to rise by 21.1% YoY from £3.22bn in 2021 to £3.9bn in 2022. However, with the rise in offline spend comes a decline in online spend from £5.42bn to £4.8bn – a drop of 11.2%.

VoucherCodes managing director and SVP international Maureen McDonagh said: “With Christmas sales expected to fall by 3% on last year, Black Friday is an important opportunity for retailers to provide their customers with the much-needed value during an incredibly difficult period, especially on must-have items for food and drink and gifts for loved ones.

“Black Friday is incredibly busy for discounting so retailers need to consider how their offers stand out and are relevant to maximise sales. With less disposable income available, additional customer initiatives such as rewards, loyalty and flexible delivery options can be the deciding factor between a customer choosing between two competitor brands.”

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