Black Friday sales are expected to reach 1.54 billion pounds in the UK, as shoppers look for bargains on the popular pre-Christmas discount days.
According to figures released by e-commerce trade body IMRG, UK shoppers are set to spend 13 percent more than 2017, with an estimated online spend totalling 8.1 billion pounds during peak activity between 19-26 November - known as Blackvember.
According to IMRG, sales activity continues to be at its peak for this period on the actual day itself but, over the past five years, the campaigns that retailers run have extended over a longer period to help ease the pressure on their operations (delivery, traffic to site etc).
Back in 2014, Black Friday campaigns were typically just specific to the day, in 2015 it extended over a long weekend and in 2016 several stretched their campaigns over a whole week (starting Monday or Tuesday leading into Black Friday). This means that there is no consensus on campaign durations; ‘Black Friday’ has no real start or end and can apply to any period technically.
Retailers are challenged to offer discounts
A challenge for retailers in 2018 is that many have been forced into running discounting campaigns well ahead of November, in part at least due to the tough year retail has been experiencing, so the number offering heavy discounts early in November may be higher this year.
Black Friday has had a very notable impact on how – and when – Christmas is marketed by retailers. Christmas is ‘switched on’ by retailers in early November, then ‘switched off’ over the weeks leading into Black Friday before being reinstated the day after Cyber Monday.
While the decline in footfall on high streets has been one of the main talking points in retail throughout 2018 generally; moving toward Black Friday in 2018, there seems little evidence to suggest that the online / high street balance will be reversed, with people heading back into stores again in large numbers.
Photo credit: Digital Marketing Experts; article source: IMRG "Welcome to Blackvember – IMRG forecast for Black Friday 2018"