Black Friday spending in UK 'expected to fall by almost a quarter'

Accounting firm PwC anticipates shoppers will spend £5.6bn on deals this year, down from £7.1bn last year.

Black Friday spending in UK ‘expected to fall by almost a quarter’ PA Media

Spending by UK consumers on Black Friday is anticipated to fall by almost a quarter as the event’s timing ahead of payday coincides with cost-of-living pressures, an annual league suggests.

PwC anticipates UK shoppers will spend £5.6bn on Black Friday deals this year, down from £7.1bn last year.

Meanwhile, interest in the event has waned from 61% of consumers last year to 44% this year, with 16% of consumers saying they will “definitely buy” compared with 24% last year, a poll for the accounting firm found.

Overall, the proportion who do not intend to buy at all has increased from 39% last year to 56%.

A third of Black Friday spending is expected to be in-store or via click and collect, compared with one-in-four pounds two years ago, echoing earlier research by PwC that showed a post-pandemic resurgence of young people wanting to experience shopping “in real life”.

The main reasons for the drop in interest in Black Friday varies by age group, but older age groups reported they were less interested in sales and promotions generally and were more likely to be prioritising holidays and leisure spending.

Among families, the most common reason for not shopping over Black Friday was because they were cutting back on spending this year, while a large proportion of under-25s blamed not having enough money to buy anything this year.

Lisa Hooker, leader of industry for consumer markets at PwC UK, said: “Shoppers are telling us they want to spend less this Black Friday for a number of reasons. For men who look forward to a deal on the latest technology, some may be put off by fewer new releases.

“For many, purse strings are a little tighter this time around, with the improvement in consumer sentiment we saw earlier in the year having slowed over the summer.

“Finally, the timing of Black Friday a little earlier this year and before payday for many people will inevitably have an impact on spending.”

She added: “Looking forward, consumers still prioritise special occasions and time with family, which means that we are still optimistic about the outlook for retailers this Christmas.

“Indeed, over one third of shoppers tell us they have started Christmas shopping earlier, with many of them doing so in order to help with budgeting for the festive period.”

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