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

Black Friday, which started as an American tradition, has become one of the biggest dates in the retail calendar, with retailers hoping to benefit from increased traffic and consumers hunting for a bargain. Black Friday takes place in the fourth week of November, the day after Thanksgiving, which means it falls on November 25th in 2022. Although, special deals are spread across the entire weekend (also known as Black or Cyber Weekend) and Monday (Cyber Monday).

Cost of living to hamper Black Friday

In the United Kingdom, the timing of Black Friday has most relevance for its proximity to Christmas, offering consumers the chance to save money on their Christmas gifts. Indeed, finding good prices will be vital for many this Christmas season, as the economic situation looks worrying for many. In a 2022 survey, the most popular reason UK consumers gave for shopping on Black Friday was that it offers better prices and deals for gift buying. Almost three-quarters of UK consumers said that they will make a larger share of their gift purchases over Black Friday and Cyber Monday compared to the previous year in the UK in 2022.

However, the main motivating factor for people to shop on Black Friday may also be the reason it struggles this year: people’s desire to save money. When asked, only about 30 percent of surveyed UK consumers said they would not cut back on their holiday spending in 2022. As a result, Black Friday weekend sales in the UK were forecast to fall in comparison to the previous year, something which has only happened once before in the past seven years, and that was in 2020 when retail was heavily affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Online sales hold onto the lead

While online sales were forecast to fall, they were still estimated to be worth more than in-store sales. The gap is narrowing, however, and interestingly, despite the fall in overall Black Friday weekend sales, there is forecast to be an upturn in in-store retail sales. The three leading categories consumers were planning to buy over Black Friday weekend 2022 were clothing and footwear, electricals, and toys. In a separate survey, UK consumers said that they would be more likely to buy all of these categories online.

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