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Black Friday - UK - January 2018

“Black Friday has continued to grow and is now undeniably a firm fixture in the retail calendar. But despite growing numbers of retailers and shoppers taking part in the event, there is a palpable and growing sense of disillusionment among consumers. In the years ahead, retailers and brands will need to be much more creative in how they use the event to drive genuine engagement.”
– Thomas Slide, Retail Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Growth and disillusionment – Where next for Black Friday?
  • Different strategies for making the most of Black Friday
  • Black Friday and Christmas, a complex relationship

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Inflation growth means real incomes are falling
              • Figure 1: Real incomes: inflation (CPIH) vs wage growth, Jan 2014-Nov 2017
            • Retail sales hold up
              • November the second biggest month for retailers
                • Black Friday sales reach £4.2 billion in 2017
                  • Figure 2: Total spending (excl VAT) on Black Friday promotions, 2013-17
                • Companies and brands
                  • Amazon dominates and blurs digital and physical
                    • Diverse approaches to Black Friday promotions
                      • The consumer
                        • Over half of consumers engaged with Black Friday
                          • Figure 3: How they browsed and bought during Black Friday 2017, by device, December 2017
                        • Electricals and fashion the key categories
                          • Figure 4: Items purchased during Black Friday 2017, December 2017
                        • Average spending tops £200
                          • Amazon dominates Black Friday shopping
                            • Figure 5: Where they shopped for Black Friday promotions, December 2017
                          • Most purchases on Black Friday are Christmas gifts
                            • Figure 6: Proportion of Black Friday purchases that were Christmas gifts, December 2017
                          • 61% delay making a purchase until Black Friday
                            • Figure 7: How they shopped during the Black Friday promotions, December 2017
                          • Growing disillusionment with Black Friday
                            • Figure 8: Attitudes towards Black Friday, December 2017
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • Growth and disillusionment – Where next for Black Friday?
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Different strategies for making the most of Black Friday
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Black Friday and Christmas, a complex relationship
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                            • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                              • Inflation growth means real incomes are falling
                                                • Retail sales hold up
                                                  • November the second biggest month for retailers
                                                    • Black Friday sales reach £4.2 billion in 2017
                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                      • Inflation on the rise…
                                                        • Figure 9: Consumer price inflation: overall index and select key retail categories, Nov 2016-Nov 2017
                                                      • …meaning real incomes are falling
                                                        • Figure 10: Real incomes: inflation (CPIH) vs wage growth, Jan 2014-Nov 2017
                                                      • Confidence is holding up reasonably well
                                                        • Figure 11: Mintel finance tracker: current state of finances vs how finance compares to last year, February 2012-November 2017
                                                      • Consumer credit reaches new heights
                                                        • Figure 12: Monthly gross and net unsecured lending to individuals, excluding the Students Loans Company, non-seasonally adjusted, January 2010-October 2017
                                                    • Retail Sales across the Year

                                                        • Autumn now the biggest season for retailers
                                                          • Figure 13: Value of all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by quarter, 2016
                                                        • December still the biggest month…
                                                          • Figure 14: Value of all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, January 2015-November 2017
                                                        • …but November has been the quickest growing
                                                          • Figure 15: Value of retail sales (excluding fuel) at 2015 prices, non-seasonally adjusted, Q4 2014-16
                                                        • Strong peak for non-food retailers in Q4
                                                          • Figure 16: Value of all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, by food and non-food, Jan 2015-November 2017
                                                        • Black Friday is boosting online revenues in November…
                                                          • Figure 17: Value of all online retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, Jan 2015-Nov 2017
                                                        • …meaning online takes its greatest share of the sector in November
                                                          • Figure 18: Online retail sales as a percentage of all retail sales, by month, Jan 2015-Nov 17
                                                      • Market Size

                                                        • Black Friday sales hit £4.2 billion
                                                          • Figure 19: Total spending (excl VAT) on Black Friday promotions, 2013-17
                                                        • Electricals dominate spending
                                                          • Figure 20: Estimated breakdown of spending in the Black Friday promotions, by product category, 2017
                                                      • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Amazon dominates and blurs the digital with the physical
                                                          • Diverse approaches to Black Friday promotions
                                                          • Leading Players: Who Did What on Black Friday?

                                                            • Amazon: dominant and innovative
                                                              • Figure 21: The Home of Black Friday – Amazon pop-up store, November 2017
                                                            • Dixons Carphone: earlier and longer than ever before
                                                              • Argos: encouraging shoppers to buy early
                                                                • Figure 22: Argos’ Black Friday Price Promise, 2017
                                                              • Debenhams: seven days of deals
                                                                • John Lewis: busiest day ever online
                                                                  • Next: the surprise newcomer
                                                                    • Figure 23: Next Stratford – Black Friday display, November 2017
                                                                • Black Friday Strategies

                                                                    • Blanket discounting
                                                                      • Figure 24: Fashion retailers offer blanket discounts, November 2017
                                                                    • Increasing product penetration or brand awareness
                                                                      • Getting in early and extending the event
                                                                        • Figure 25: Black Friday in July by Best Buy in the US, July 2017
                                                                      • Short term lightning deals
                                                                        • Hidden gems: the subtle approach
                                                                          • Figure 26: & Other Stories, November 2017
                                                                        • The ‘it’s not Black Friday’ approach
                                                                          • Figure 27: Liberty’s ‘The Event Before Christmas’ on Black Friday, November 2017
                                                                        • The Anti-Black Friday approach
                                                                          • Figure 28: TX Maxx: Who needs Black Friday? direct mail, November 2017
                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                        • Over half of consumers engaged with Black Friday
                                                                          • Black Friday is predominantly online
                                                                            • Electricals and fashion the key categories
                                                                              • Average spending tops £200
                                                                                • Amazon dominates Black Friday shopping
                                                                                  • Most purchases on Black Friday are Christmas gifts
                                                                                    • 61% delay making a purchase until Black Friday
                                                                                      • Growing disillusionment with Black Friday
                                                                                      • How They Shopped on Black Friday 2017

                                                                                        • Over half engaged with Black Friday
                                                                                          • Figure 29: Participation in Black Friday 2017, December 2017
                                                                                        • Younger consumers more likely to engage…
                                                                                          • Figure 30: Participation in Black Friday 2017, by age, December 2017
                                                                                        • …as are more affluent consumers
                                                                                            • Figure 31: Participation in Black Friday 2017, by socio-economic group, December 2017
                                                                                        • How Did They Buy and Browse?

                                                                                          • Black Friday is an online-first event
                                                                                            • Figure 32: How they browsed and bought during Black Friday 2017, December 2017
                                                                                            • Figure 33: How they browsed and bought during Black Friday 2017, by device, December 2017
                                                                                          • Placement of Black Friday driving online dominance
                                                                                            • Figure 34: How they browsed and bought during Black Friday 2017, by working status, December 2017
                                                                                          • Mobile shopping during Black Friday being driven by younger consumers
                                                                                            • Figure 35: Online browsing and buying during Black Friday 2017, by device and age, December 2017
                                                                                        • What They Browsed and Bought

                                                                                          • Electricals and fashion the key categories
                                                                                            • Figure 36: Items purchased during Black Friday 2017, December 2017
                                                                                          • Younger consumers more likely to purchase electricals
                                                                                            • Figure 37: Electrical items purchased during Black Friday 2017, by age, December 2017
                                                                                            • Figure 38: Items purchased during Black Friday 2017, by age, December 2017
                                                                                          • Over half purchased from a single category
                                                                                            • Figure 39: Repertoire analysis: Number of categories purchased from during Black Friday 2017, by age, December 2017
                                                                                          • What they browsed for but did not buy
                                                                                            • Figure 40: Items browsed for but not bought, December 2017
                                                                                        • How Much Did They Spend?

                                                                                            • Average spending tops £200
                                                                                              • Figure 41: Average amount spent on products during Black Friday 2017, December 2017
                                                                                              • Figure 42: Average spend during Black Friday 2017, by parental status, December 2017
                                                                                            • In-store buyers on average spent more
                                                                                              • Figure 43: Average spend during Black Friday 2017, by channel purchased through in 2017, December 2017
                                                                                          • Which Retailers Did They Use?

                                                                                            • Amazon dominates Black Friday
                                                                                                • Figure 44: Where they shopped for Black Friday promotions, December 2017
                                                                                              • Amazon attracts older shoppers
                                                                                                • Figure 45: Average age of Black Friday shoppers at the leading Black Friday retailers, December 2017
                                                                                              • Clear gender difference in choice of retailer
                                                                                                • Figure 46: Where they shopped for Black Friday promotions (netted), by gender, December 2017
                                                                                            • What Stops People Buying on Black Friday?

                                                                                              • Reasons for not buying reflect differing approaches
                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Why they browsed but didn’t buy in the Black Friday promotions, December 2017
                                                                                                • Negative connotations hold many back from engaging with Black Friday
                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Why they neither browsed nor bought in the Black Friday promotions, December 2017
                                                                                                • Black Friday and Christmas

                                                                                                  • Majority of Black Friday purchases are Christmas gifts
                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Proportion of Black Friday purchases that were Christmas gifts, December 2017
                                                                                                    • Parents use Black Friday to make Christmas more affordable
                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Proportion of Black Friday purchases that were Christmas gifts, by parental status, December 2017
                                                                                                    • Black Friday increasingly being used for Christmas gifts
                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Change in use of Black Friday for Christmas gifts, December 2017
                                                                                                    • Half see Black Friday as the start of the Christmas shopping period
                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Attitudes towards Black Friday and Christmas, December 2017
                                                                                                    • Young women most likely to expect promotions
                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Agreement with the statement “Frequent promotions in the lead up to Christmas mean you don’t need to pay full price for gifts”, by gender and age, December 2017
                                                                                                  • How They Shop the Black Friday Promotions

                                                                                                    • Almost two thirds delayed making a purchase before Black Friday
                                                                                                      • Figure 54: How they shopped during the Black Friday promotions, December 2017
                                                                                                  • Deciding What to Buy on Black Friday

                                                                                                    • 72% planned what to buy on Black Friday
                                                                                                        • Figure 55: How they shopped the Black Friday promotions, December 2017
                                                                                                      • Under-35s most likely to buy even if it doesn’t go into sale
                                                                                                          • Figure 56: How they shopped the Black Friday promotions, by age, December 2017
                                                                                                        • Using promotions to increase exposure
                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Agreement with the statement “Promotions enable me to buy premium brands I wouldn’t usually buy”, by age group, December 2017
                                                                                                        • How They Feel about Black Friday Promotions

                                                                                                          • Black Friday struggling to live up to expectations
                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Attitudes towards Black Friday, December 2017
                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                • Consumer research methodology

                                                                                                                Black Friday - UK - January 2018

                                                                                                                US $2,963.91 (Excl.Tax)