Black Friday sales to be hit by England’s World Cup match against USA
Sales on Black Friday, 25 November 2022, are set to drop -5.8% to £3.01bn from £3.20bn last year, as it falls on the same day as England face the USA in the FIFA World Cup, at 7pm UK time.
However, as a result, the spend is set to shift to Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 November, with expected sales of £2.53bn, a rise of 10.4% year-on-year.
Meanwhile sales on Cyber Monday (28 November) are to be the most lucrative for retailers, generating £3.17bn, a rise of 0.3% year-on-year, according to predictions from the ‘VoucherCodes.co.uk Shopping for Christmas 2022: Black Friday Weekend’ report.
Overall spend is predicted to hit £8.71bn over Black Friday weekend, a rise of 0.8% compared to 2021, as consumers shop early for Christmas and make use of “bumper discounts”, with £22.62bn expected to be spent over the two week Black Friday period - from 22 November to 5 December, up 2.1% on last year.
Charles Allen, Retail Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said: “The winter World Cup is unprecedented for the UK (and Europe) so it's not yet quite clear how the normal pattern of gatherings will play out if it is more difficult to be outside.
“The early December weekends (3-4 and 10-11) could be quite slow, especially with the World Cup, if England are playing in a round of 16 match on the first weekend and a quarter-final on the second.
“This year, it looks as if retailers are trying to spread this spending period over several days or even weeks. For online retailers, this makes a lot of sense as it stops too much merchandise having to be shipped on a single day, with all the pressure of increased logistical costs making that particularly problematic this year.”
Despite the strain on many consumers' budgets amid the cost of living crisis, two-fifths of consumers still say they are likely to make a purchase over the Black Friday Weekend (39%), and 16% say they are very likely to purchase. A further two-fifths say they are likely to spend more this year than last year (41%).
Retailers of clothing and footwear are the most likely to see a Black Friday sales boost, as this category is poised to be the most popular, with half of Black Friday shoppers set to make a purchase (47%). Big ticket items such as electricals are also set to be popular (44%), as will popular gifting categories such as toys (37%), health and beauty (32%), and games, music and film (24%).
This year’s Black Friday Weekend is the first year since 2019 without any COVID restrictions or fears over rising cases. As a result, many consumers are predicted to return to bricks-and-mortar stores to shop in-person this Black Friday weekend. Due to this shift, offline sales are forecast to rise by a huge 21.1% year-on-year from £3.22bn in 2021 to £3.9bn in 2022. However, with the rise in offline spend comes a decline in online spend from £5.42bn to £4.8bn - a drop of -11.2%.
Maureen McDonagh, SVP International and Managing Director at VoucherCodes.co.uk, commented: “With Christmas sales expected to fall by -3% on last year, Black Friday is an important opportunity for retailers to provide their customers with the much-needed value during an incredibly difficult period.
“Black Friday is incredibly busy for discounting so retailers need to consider how their offers stand out and are relevant to maximise sales. With less disposable income available, additional customer initiatives such as rewards, loyalty and flexible delivery options can be the deciding factor between a customer choosing between two competitor brands.”
As consumers look to spread their seasonal spend across November and December due to the impact of the current economic climate, retailers are shifting their Black Friday sales strategies to meet consumer preferences and drive spending.
The first half of November shows retailers have significantly accelerated their Black Friday sales campaigns compared to previous years. There has been a 78% increase year-on-year for early activations - during the first two weeks of November - compared to the same period in 2021. That’s according to a tracker of 305 retailers run by IMRG and Capgemini.
However, while there is an uptick of Black Friday campaigns by major retailers, online sales growth has remained negative at -2.7% year-on-year, for the first week of November.
The average basket value (ABV) also saw a decline from £140 to £135, confirming that the current economic climate is making consumers “cost-conscious” and careful about how much they are spending this year.
At a category level, beauty (+6.9%) saw a positive impact from a number of large retailers in that category bringing their sales forward, with an uptick of +6.9% in sales.
Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director at IMRG, said: “A substantial increase in the number of retailers, particularly large ones, with a Black Friday campaign live in the first week of November still didn’t push overall growth positive (it was -2.7% year-on-year). The categories with the highest number of early participants were home and garden, health & beauty, electronics and clothing.”
Simon Binge, Commerce Senior Manager of Customer Transformation at Capgemini, commented: “As predicted, UK retailers are beginning their Black Friday campaigns earlier than ever before in an attempt to stimulate demand.
“What is more surprising is the number of retailers who have launched their campaigns early – more than double each day from 2 November compared to the same days in 2021 – but also the relative lack of activity from shoppers.
“Despite a huge amount of activity from retailers, sales for the first week of November still trail last year at -2.7% year-on-year. These early results are likely to be causing retailers to review their promotional plans for the Black Friday weekend, opting for deeper discounts and more attractive promotions, with the goal of winning the greatest share possible of an ever-shrinking wallet.”