Black Friday spending in the UK is projected to reach an all-time high this year, with analysts forecasting that it will come close to £9 billion. Despite a decrease in the number of transactions compared to previous years, PwC estimates that consumers will spend £8.7 billion, surpassing the £7.8 billion spent in 2019 and doubling last year’s figures when the UK was in lockdown.

According to PwC, 60% of adults in the UK are expected to participate in Black Friday and make purchases, with an average spend of £280 per person. These figures are particularly impressive considering that some major retailers, such as M&S and Next, have chosen not to take part in this year’s shopping extravaganza.

Barclaycard, a company that processes a significant portion of credit and debit card transactions in the UK, reported a 21.4% increase in transactions between midnight and 09:00 GMT compared to Black Friday last year when sales were heavily impacted by Covid restrictions. Transactions were also 5.4% higher than in 2019.

Klarna, a retail financier, revealed that trainers, especially those from Nike and Adidas, are highly sought after this Black Friday, along with Airpods, game consoles, and fragrances. Popular beauty items include Dior Sauvage, Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium, Mugler Alien, Paco Rabanne 1 Million, and Olympea.

PwC’s research, which surveyed 2,000 consumers through OnePoll, found that technology, clothing, and beauty products are the most desired deals during Black Friday. Approximately 32% of consumers prefer to browse and shop for these bargains online. Furthermore, 11% of Britons plan to spend significantly more during this year’s Black Friday sales period compared to last year, and 15% of consumers aim to complete the majority of their Christmas shopping during this event.

For 51% of Black Friday shoppers, saving money on gifts is the main motivation, particularly for those aged 55-64. However, the key driver for the 18-24 age group is acquiring must-have items before Christmas. Concerns over supply chain issues and stock availability have affected the Christmas shopping plans of 26% of consumers, rising to 45% among 18-24 year-olds. Many consumers (24%) claim to have already completed the majority of their Christmas shopping, with 28% doing so early to spread the cost and 27% to ensure they get the desired gifts.

While some shoppers will wait until closer to Christmas, with 16% planning to snatch up last-minute bargains, 28% prefer to leave their Christmas shopping to the days leading up to the holiday. Men, in particular, are more likely to procrastinate in their shopping habits.

The research also indicates that environmental concerns have influenced shopping attitudes, with approximately one-third of consumers taking these issues into consideration this year. Of those who are environmentally conscious, 54% stated that they would only shop from brands or companies with good ethical and environmental practices. Men and young consumers (18-24-year-olds) are more likely to consider the environmental reputation of retailers when making purchases.

Overall, this year’s Black Friday is expected to be a significant event for retailers, with projected record-breaking levels of spending. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic and supply chain issues, consumers are eager to take advantage of the deals and discounts available. The shopping habits and preferences identified in the research offer valuable insights for retailers to tailor their strategies and offerings to meet consumer demands during this crucial time of year.

Sources:
– [PwC](https://www.pwc.co.uk/industries/retail-consumer/insights/black-friday-consumer-insights-kh.html)
– [Barclaycard](https://www.barclaycard.co.uk/business/news-and-insights/2021/11/black-friday-2021-data-from-barclaycard)
– [Klarna](https://www.klarna.com/uk/about-us/press/latest-releases/klarna-data-reveals-the-products-around-the-world-that-will-be-big-this-black-friday/)