Many shoppers say they plan to spend less this Black Friday as the cost of living looms.
Richard Baker | in pictures | Getty Images
Black Friday may offer an opportunity for bargains ahead of the festive period, but many shoppers will expect retailers to cut prices more differentially this year as they tighten their belts amid a worsening cost-of-living crisis.
Shoppers in Europe are planning to spend almost one-fifth less during this year’s annual discount period, as inflationary pressures weigh on consumer sentiment. Boston Consulting Group research this month.
UK consumers are set to cut by the biggest margin in the region by spending 18% less, while France and Germany both plan to reduce their spending by 15% and Spain by 13%.
US consumers were alone in the survey of nine countries, which also included Australia, saying they expect to spend more this year, with their spending increasing by 6%.
Retailers are under pressure
The findings come as the global economic outlook worsens, particularly in Europe, where Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has weighed on growth and fueled energy prices.
This is adding to the pressure on retailers, who are already struggling to recover from a post-Covid-19 slump and attract increasingly price-conscious consumers. Meanwhile, many companies, which have been seeking to rectify shortages and supply issues since last year, have built up huge inventories of stock that they are now under pressure to move.
Jessica Distler, BCG Managing Director, said, “Black Friday is an important moment in the shopping calendar for physical and online retailers who are still recovering from the COVID pandemic and now face consumers in many markets who are facing many non- We are reducing our spending plans for essential items.” Partner, said in the report.
This could see retailers extend their discounts throughout the month, increasing buying opportunities for consumers who have the money to spend.
UK transactions grew by 3.8% year-on-year in the week leading up to Black Friday, according to new data from Barclays Payments, one of the country’s leading payments processors.
Kristy Morris, managing director of commercial solutions at Barclays Payments, told CNBC on Thursday that this could mean that buyers are willing to spread their purchases over the Christmas season.
“What we’ve seen is a Black Friday trend. We’ve seen it spread throughout the week and actually move into the month as well,” Morris said.
“Some of it is potentially reflecting Christmas shopping and consumers being more discerning about how they spend for Christmas,” he added.
Nevertheless, experts have urged shopkeepers to be careful while seeking to avail discounts this festive period.
John Davies, UK and Ireland director at cyber security organization Sans Institute, said online hackers are known to “turn up the heat” during discount periods, especially when shoppers are under pressure to get a deal.
In fact, according to research from Barclays, there was a 34% increase in shopping scams after last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekends.
“Cybercriminals are on the rise with attacks that are more prevalent, more sophisticated and harder to detect than ever before,” he added.
Davis urged consumers to be extra cautious when shopping online and avoid making rushed or panicked decisions for “fear of missing out”.
“Opportunistic hackers will try to create a false sense of urgency, so it’s important to exercise caution by staying scam-aware, trusting instincts and building security into all of our online dealings,” he added.