Black Friday offers ‘glimmer of hope’ as UK consumers to spend less over Xmas

Over a third of UK consumers expect to spend less over the festive period compared with previous years, new research suggests.

EY UK’s latest Consumer Future Index, which surveyed 1,000 UK consumers, will likely come as a fresh blow to retailers following recent findings from the Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) that UK retail sales volumes in October hit their lowest levels since Covid lockdowns.

ONS said its results indicated that consumers in October were paying 16.9 per cent more to buy 3.1 per cent less than they did in February 2020.

However, EY also found that 45 per cent of consumers intend to participate in Black Friday shopping this year, with nearly two thirds intending to delay purchases until then.

The survey found that younger consumers are cutting back on spending more than older shoppers, with 40 per cent of millennials planning on spending less this year when compared with over a quarter of shoppers over the age of 58.

Silvia Rindone, UK and Ireland retail lead at EY, believed the findings reflect UK consumers are starting to show “some signs of optimism”.

“Shoppers are becoming savvier of when to buy, maximising spend during sales events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” she said. “With the ‘golden shopping quarter’ becoming more polarised around these events, brands and retailers need to carefully plan their promotions this year in order to capture the consumer – too early and shoppers will delay in anticipation of further discounts; too late and the moment will be lost.”

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