The home delivery expert ParcelHero says this Black Friday is likely to see overall UK online and High Street spending growth stall. Low consumer confidence and stretched-out, lacklustre online deals have blackened Friday’s prospects.
Since hitting the UK with a bang in 2010 Black Friday has gone on to create new spending records every year. But now the e-commerce delivery expert ParcelHero is warning things are looking black for this week’s Friday event: it’s saying Black Friday has had its day and is forecasting zero spending growth on Black Friday this year.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, says: ‘In the early years stores such as Tesco and Asda were forced to lock their doors, such was the demand; while more recently it has grown online at 12% annually. This year we’re seeing some big predictions for record Black Friday profits; but we’ve been analysing data from many sources and we are not so optimistic.
‘In 2018 Black Friday made a record £2.4bn, including online sales of £1.4 bn. But while online sales were up a - slightly disappointing - 7% in comparison to 2017, town centre store sales were already down 7%. This year we believe disillusioned online shoppers will join High Street shoppers in losing interest in Black Friday, leading to no overall growth for the first time in its barnstorming ten-year history.’
Explains David: ‘The fact is online shoppers now know sites are pacing their offers over not just the day or the weekend, or even the whole week; we’ve seen a whole fortnight of ‘warm up’ offers. Even Black Friday’s prime instigator, Amazon, couldn’t wait beyond last Friday to kick off its Black Friday sale. Endless rolling offers take away from the need – and let’s face it, the slight thrill – of logging on this Friday and zeroing in on some genuinely great bargains. Black Friday has become a dull month of stock clearance; and internet shoppers are unlikely to be breaking any records this year.’
Adds David: ‘Sadly, we don’t believe there will be a resurgence in High Street spending to compensate. While some High Street stores are still climbing on the Black Friday bandwagon, beauty store Deciem is shutting up shop entirely on Friday. In a year in which even the major chains alone have closed around 6,000 stores, with Mothercare set to follow, no one’s expecting a Black Friday boom.’
But David does have one note of optimism: ‘ParcelHero is already seeing around 6% more home deliveries than this time last year. People are clearly still ordering and sending presents when they see a genuine bargain, and we’re certainly expecting a healthy overall peak Christmas season; it’s just besieged Black Friday that will see zero growth. While we are dreaming of a white Christmas, we’re also fearing a very Black Friday.’