The phenomenal consumer engagement with Black Friday 2014 has fundamentally changed the shape of the festive shopping period in the UK and, if it keeps on growing, could it potentially spoil the traditional Christmas shopping cycle?Black Friday 2014 was a pivotal shopping day in UK retailing history - £1m was spent every three minutes and in-store traffic saw a 23% jump. Last year total sales on the day were £810m and this year, despite some retailers choosing not to participate, this record is set to be broken.However, with such a large slice of consumer spending brought forward, how does this impact the traditional rhythm and timing of Christmas shopping?
“Black Friday last year completely disrupted the traditional pattern of festive spending in the UK and this year the effects are likely to be even more pronounced. With so much volume changing hands at discounted prices on a single day at the end of November, this undoubtedly has an impact on the more traditional sales periods and inevitably takes volume away from these.”
Using data from the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, it is clear that, in preceding years, shopping steadily intensified in the lead up to Christmas Day. However, last year a huge percentage of non-food sales were brought forward to Black Friday creating two shopping peaks rather than one.
“Consumers aren’t necessarily spending more, they are just spending earlier and more than ever hooked on a diet of discounts,” added McCorquodale. “Looking at the graph, the effects of Black Friday last year resulted in much weaker pre-Christmas and Boxing Day sales and, not only that, retailers actually saw a distinct lull in spending during early December as consumers waited for the next round of bargains to hit the shelves.”
Unfortunately the knock on effect of Black Friday 2014 was the weakest December sales growth since 2008 of just 1% and online sales achieved their lowest ever December growth of just 7%.
“This year Black Friday will be even bigger with many predicting that the UK will see the first ever £1bn spent on a single shopping day,” said McCorquodale. “However, if consumers are gearing up to spend an even greater chunk of their final 2015 pay packet at the end of November could this mean that the traditional Christmas shopping period in December is over, at least for big ticket items?”
For further information please contact:
Jess Liebmann, KPMG Corporate Communications
Tel: 0207 311 3245
KPMG Press Office
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