Nov 22, 2022
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More than half UK consumers cutting back on Black Friday spend - report

Nov 22, 2022

Yet more confirmation (if needed) that this is going to be a quieter seasonal spend than usual. More than half of Britons plan to cut down on Black Friday splurges in response to inflation, according to consumer research platform Attest.

As a direct response to higher prices, 58% of consumers who will cut back this Black Friday will instead: save money in case they need it due to economic uncertainty (32%); prioritise their money to cover day-to-day expenses (29%); pay for home energy bills (24%); make mortgage repayments or simply save money due to job fears (4%).

However, most consumers do plan to spend at least something this Black Friday (74%) but most are uncertain how much they’ll spend. Last year, Britons were on average splashing out £100-£200 on Black Friday. Yet this time, they’re most likely to say they’re not sure how much they’ll spend.

The picture of an unsure British consumer is also found in the products people will buy this Black Friday. Most (34%) are “not sure yet”. However, an interesting shift could unfold this year. Past research from Attest has found that technology products have always been the most sought-after by consumers for Black Friday. This year, clothing (at 32%) is mainly what people plan to buy, followed by technology items (28%).

A big majority of 63% will make purchases exclusively online, and just 10% will venture into the shops, we’re told.

Despite the rollout of other sales days like a second Prime Day, it appears that Black Friday has further enhanced its reputation as the premier sales event in the calendar for Britons. Nearly half (49%) agree it’s the best day to buy discounted products (more than last year’s 38%). Yet there are signs of sales fatigue among hard-pressed consumers. Some 43% think the Black Friday sales event should be limited to 1-3 days at most, followed by 33% who believe it should just be a one-day event. 

When it comes to their favourite retailers on the day, consumers were most likely to select Amazon as their top choice, followed far behind by John Lewis.

Beyond Black Friday, 77% will change gifting habits this year, most likely giving fewer presents to their loved ones this Christmas in response to the cost-of-living crisis (24%). This is followed by those who will give “much cheaper” presents (21%) and 18% who will gift fewer people in total. 

Meanwhile, the 18% who say they will gift fewer people in total this year, they are most likely to cut out work colleagues (23%) and friends (16%) from gifting. Yet family members aren’t immune from having to experience a thrifty Christmas, with 9% planning to avoid gifting siblings. Some Britons (7%) even plan to avoid gifting their spouse/partner this year due to inflation. 

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