Black Friday 2019 spend is forecast to rise 2.2% to £4.3bn in the UK, compared with a rise of 0.6% for non-food retail over the entire Q4 period, according to a report by GlobalData analysts.
The analysts said that this forecast is due to UK consumers planning to fit more of their Christmas spend into the Black Friday period due to expectations of heavy discounts. But this will also lead to an increased strain on retailer profitability.
GlobalData retail analyst Zoe Mills said: “Black Friday promotional sales continue to outperform the overall quarter, as shoppers both delay spend that would have otherwise occurred before the event, while other shoppers bring forward spend, for example, to capitalise on the low prices when purchasing Christmas gifts.
“However, its influence is waning as growth is forecast to be 2.2% versus 3.5% in 2018. We are also seeing an increasing number of retailers discount ahead of the promotional event, often depicting these sales as a pre-Black Friday promotion.
“While this may ease the demand on logistics operations over the period, it will mean that shoppers demand ever-steeper discounts during Black Friday as they expect something more from retailers during this time.”
Previously, the weekend period of the now weeklong Black Friday event has fallen before the bulk of UK shoppers have been paid. The analysts noted that this has also had an impact on the total spend over the event. However, Black Friday 2019 will fall on payday weekend allowing UK shoppers to spend more at the right time.
The fashion and beauty sector is forecast to remain the best-performing sector for Black Friday 2019 spend, with a predicted growth of 2.7%. The analysts said that this growth will mainly be determined by the health and beauty sector, with many clothing and footwear retailers heavily discounting ahead of the promotional period.
Mills added: “While unlikely to have a substantial impact on this area’s performance over the Black Friday period, the prominence of sustainability concerns in 2019 will see some consumers and retailers alike shun the event. Deciem will be shutting its stores on Friday 29 November and French brand Fagou is supporting a ‘Make Friday Green Again’ collective to limit what it says is a discount period that encourages consumers to purchase items they do not need.
“Its [Black Friday] impact will be small in 2019. But as we have seen throughout the year, as more consumers – and as a result retailers – place greater emphasis on environmental concerns, shopping habits may begin to change in the future.”
The electricals sector is the most mature sector for Black Friday, producing up almost 30% of the event’s total spend. But due to its maturity, the analysts added that its growth potential is limited. For Black Friday 2019, this sector is forecast to rise by 1.7%, compared with a 3.3% rise in 2018.
Mills concluded: “Last year saw heavy discounting on new releases, such as the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd generation). And while there are some updates to devices, a lack of newness will mean that fewer consumers have reason to purchase compared to last year.”