Black Friday 2021 still an opportunity for UK retailers as Christmas spend comes early, says GlobalData

Even though the number of UK shoppers that participated in Black Friday last year fell 6%, compared to 2019, leading data and analytics company GlobalData says it is still an important retail event, and retailers should use it to help encourage early Christmas spending as the threat of limited availability continues amid supply chain disruption.

Juliet Cuell, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “With Halloween over, attention has firmly turned to Christmas amid consumer concerns about stock shortages of must-have presents. Indeed, *40.6% of UK consumers stated that they are worried they will not be able to get what they want closer to Christmas due to supply chain issues according to a survey by GlobalData.”

GlobalData’s survey found that 38.6% of consumers intend to purchase during Black Friday this year, and 64.9% of 16–24-year-old shoppers intend to participate, a rise of 4.9 percentage points (ppts) on last year’s survey. Meanwhile, fewer of those aged 55+ intend to shop during the event this year – driven by these consumers feeling less confident about returning to stores amid rising COVID-19 cases heading into winter.

Cuell continues: “Younger consumers are keen to browse deals at physical stores this year, and retailers should provide exclusive instore offers such as free samples with a purchase during the promotional period to entice shoppers back.”

Categories expected to be popular this year are those associated with the home and home activities.

Cuell notes: “Consumers have established routines since the start of the pandemic such as working out at home. The GlobalData survey found that 36.9% of consumers intend to purchase entertainment & leisure items this year – up 8.5 ppts on last year’s survey – as consumers invest in upgrading their home workouts. Retailers should consider creating buying guides on their sites such as the best gym equipment suited for use at home to entice consumers to purchase.”

Homeware, furniture and DIY products are also forecast to be in demand this year, as 33.3% of survey respondents noted they intend to purchase these types of items – up 10.5 ppts on 2020.

Cuell adds: “The big four grocers will be first port of call for more consumers this year. It is clear that consumers continue to seek convenience and the ability to purchase everything in one place. To capitalise on this, grocers should showcase their homeware ranges, placing Black Friday displays at the front of store to entice shoppers to purchase items while carrying out their weekly food shop.”

* Source: GlobalData Retail’s October 2021 Monthly Consumer survey of 2,000 respondents.

Data from GlobalData Retail’s September 2021 Monthly Consumer survey of 2,000 respondents, GlobalData Retail’s October 2021 Monthly Consumer survey of 2,000 respondents and GlobalData Retail’s November 2020 Consumer survey of 2,000 respondents.

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