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Shoppers expected to spend £200m less on Black Friday as it’s revealed 90% of deals have been cheaper at other times

PUBLISHED: 10:05 21 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:25 21 November 2018

Shops along Edinburgh's Princes Street as retailers gear up ahead of Black Friday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday November 23, 2016. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Shops along Edinburgh's Princes Street as retailers gear up ahead of Black Friday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday November 23, 2016. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

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Retailers relying on Black Friday for a boost in sales will be sorely disappointed with the news that consumer spending on the day is expected to dip for the first time since its arrival in the UK.

Consumers will spend £2.4b on deals in stores and online, down £200m from last year’s £2.6b, according to the predictions from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) and VoucherCodes.co.uk.

Analyst Springboard said it expected the sales event to do “very little” to help the high street, anticipating Black Friday footfall would be down 3.7% compared with last year.

Footfall across the weekend will be 2.7% overall, with online transactions down 5% on last year.

Contributors to this fall are economic pressures such as high debt levels and significant living costs, compounded by the event taking place a week earlier this year - before many consumers are paid for the month.

Only yesterday retailer Bonmarche - which has four outlets across Norfolk, including Norwich’s St Stephen’s Street - announced a nose dive in profits, with its chief executive pinning her hopes for a positive year on the likes of Black Friday and Christmas.

Helen Connolly said: “Providing that sales during the key Black Friday through to Christmas trading period meet expectations, the board maintains the guidance published in September, being that the underlying profit before tax for the group for full-year 2019 will be £5.5m.”

Black Friday may also let down customers as well as retailers.

A survey from watchdog Which? has warned shoppers to do their research, having found nearly nine in 10 “deals” available last year had been cheaper at other times.

Which? tracked the prices of 94 products, including TVs, cameras and fitness trackers, on offer over Black Friday 2017 from six months before until six months afterwards, finding that 87% of the items were cheaper at other times of year and nearly half were cheaper in the six months after Black Friday.

Despite this, spending across the weekend including Cyber Monday is expected to be up 6.4% on last year to £8.3b.

Just over a quarter of Britons (27%) feel “positive” about Black Friday, with almost a third of consumers (31%) planning to buy clothing, footwear or accessories on Friday, 24% being in the market for gadgets and home technology, and 22% expecting to buy toys.

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