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Black Friday in the United Kingdom (UK) - Statistics and Facts

The United Kingdom takes Black Friday quite seriously. In 2019, total retail spending during Black Friday equaled 8.6 billion British pounds, the highest among many other countries in Europe. Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, in 2020 the total value of sales during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday week is forecast to see significant drops across many European countries, with the UK suffering over 12 percent decrease on the previous year. Likewise, personal budgets consumers allocated for this year's Black Friday purchases reflected similar contractions all over Europe. In the UK as well, consumers were expecting to spend about 38 GBP less than the previous year.

Although this globally participated mega sales event is commonly known and referred to as Black Friday, special deals on offer spread over the following weekend (which is also known as Black or Cyber Weekend) and Monday (Cyber Monday). In 2020, UK shoppers were expected to spend more over Cyber Weekend than they did on Black Friday itself, both online and offline. Surveys on the Black Friday purchasing intentions of UK consumers revealed a growing interest in Black Friday, across all age groups.

Black Friday is both an online and offline affair, but in Europe and in the UK shoppers turn to online rather than visiting brick and mortar stores for the best deals. Retailer websites during the week that covered Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw millions of visitors, and among the most popular ones were department store and apparel retailer websites. Another significant stop on consumers’ Black Friday shopping itinerary was, unsurprisingly, Amazon. In 2018, more than four million transactions were processed on Amazon’s UK platform on Black Friday only. Amazon’s own-brand devices dominated the list of leading products that filled consumers’ Black Friday carts.

Black Friday is arguably the most anticipated and advertised event of the last quarter of the calendar year, when the retail sector typically sees boost in consumer spending. While prior to the event upcoming Black Friday deals inspire some to postpone making purchases, for other consumers Black Friday makes for an alternative opportunity to buy Christmas gifts. A 2019 survey demonstrated that surpassing Pre-Christmas and Boxing Day sales, Black Friday was the most popular shopping event UK consumers preferred to participate in. Similarly, around Europe and the Middle East as well, daily sales index in the retail sector saw the greatest surges on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, making these two the most popular shopping events of the holiday season.

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Black Friday in the UK

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