Black Friday: UK consumer spending to increase even as participation drops

Abigail Fenton
·2-min read
Markus Spiske/Unsplash
The number of people planning to shop in-store has fallen to less than a third amid the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Markus Spiske/Unsplash

Black Friday spending in the UK is predicted to increase by £400m ($522m) this year, despite fewer people participating in the sales, according to a study.

UK shoppers are expected to spend an estimated £6bn in 2020’s Black Friday sales, according to annual research from shopping comparison site Finder.

This is an increase of £400m on 2019’s estimated figure of £5.6bn. It means the average spend this year has also risen by £45 – 18% – to £296 from last year’s £251. In 2018 the figure was £235.

Despite the amount being spent increasing, the number people who plan to partake in the sales is decreasing, the research found.

Last year, 42% of people – representing 22.1 million Brits – said they planned to buy something on Black Friday, whereas 39% – representing 20.3 million Brits – said they expect to do so in 2020.

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This 8% decrease is likely a result of the financial hardships many have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Finder said.

However, nearly a third (31%) of people – a potential 16.3 million – are still undecided about their participation, meaning the overall figure of sale participants could increase to 36.6 million.

As the pandemic continues to linger, shoppers are more likely than ever to shop online. Last year, just over half (56%) of Black Friday shoppers said they would take part in the sale online. This has increased by 10% to two thirds of shoppers in 2020.

However, not all Black Friday shoppers are planning to ditch stores. The research found 28% of shoppers will shop both online and in-store – but this is a fall from 35% last year.

This means 94% of shoppers will purchase items online in 2020, while only 6% of customers plan to just shop in-store. This is a drop of 3% since 2019.

READ MORE: Black Friday: '85% of Brits plan to spend online' and shun high street

On average, men are expecting to fork out £106 – 44% – more than women, with their average spend being £349 compared with £243 for women, the research found.

When it comes to generational differences, millennials plan to spend the most at about £372, while generation Z will spend the least as they plan to part with just £130 on Black Friday.

Despite this, gen Z plan to make the most of the yearly sales, with 59% intending to shop on Black Friday – more than any other generation.

Londoners intend to spend the most, with the average spend being £126 more than the national average of £296, at £422.

Meanwhile, those in Yorkshire and the Humber plan to spend the least, at £249.

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