Brits expected to spend £1.8m a minute on Black Friday this year
PUBLISHED: 09:13 17 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:07 17 November 2017
Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015
Another retail record is anticipated on this year's Black Friday as Britons shrug off the constraints of tightened household budgets.
According to predictions by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) and VoucherCodes, shoppers will spend £2.6bn – an 8% increase on last year’s £2.4bn and equal to £1.8m a minute – as they snap up bargain in stores and online on November 24.
Online spending alone is expected to rise to £1.15bn, up 15% from 2016 – when retail giants Argos and John Lewis recorded record sales.
Major retailers including Amazon, Currys, AO.com and Argos have already started their Black Friday events.
Retail sales have held up better than expected this year as inflation and poor wage growth continue to squeeze spending power – but the peak Christmas retail period, which is said to kick off with Black Friday, will be a crucial test for the UK high street.
However the CRR said shoppers are increasingly seeing the day as an online savings event. It expects high street figures to be up 4% as 9.5 million shoppers prepare to spend £1.45bn.
Eleanor Parr, retail analyst at GlobalData, said electrical sales were expected to continue to dominate Black Friday promotions, although year-on-year growth is forecast to slow to 3% due to inflation in the market discouraging spending.
She said: “Increased cost prices will mean retailers are unable to offer the level of discounts advertised in 2016, meaning demand may waver as consumers feel less inclined to make bargain purchases on impulse.”
Consumer group Which? warned shoppers against assuming that Black Friday prices are automatically the biggest discount, noting that it had “often seen past discounts that were not quite as good as retailers made them sound”.
It urges Black Friday shoppers to start looking at prices now to familiarise themselves with genuine bargains, be alert to delivery costs in advance and check returns policies before buying.
Which? magazine editor-in-chief Richard Headland said: “During big shopping events like Black Friday it can be easy to get overwhelmed by discounts, deals and deductions.
“To get the best out of Black Friday, shoppers should do their research, form a plan and stick to it.”