The cost-of-living crisis could turn Black Friday into a damp squib as people spend less on Christmas
Gloomy Friday: The cost-of-living crisis could turn the annual sales bonanza into a damp squib as people try to spend less on Christmas, analysts say
- Black Friday can be hit by a cost-of-living crisis and delivery problems due to strikes
- With energy and food costs rising, families are cutting back on Christmas spending
- Shoppers may be spending less online as strikes at Royal Mail impact delivery
Retailers are facing a gloomy Friday with warnings that the sales event will be hit by the cost of living crisis and delivery problems linked to strikes.
Rising costs of basic necessities such as energy and food are driving families to tighten their belts and cut back on Christmas spending, including the Black Friday sales.
But industry analysts from Hargreaves Lansdown predict weekend spending through Cyber Monday will still be up about 0.8 percent from last year. They say it’s likely to be £8.7bn due to inflation, despite a big drop in purchases.
Senior investment and market analyst Susannah Streeter said: “Retailers are desperate for some shopping, but the worry is that it could turn into more of a gloomy Friday. Now that the promotional event is taking place during the cost of living storm, can consumers be more cautious about splashing money?’
Retailers face a gloomy Friday with warnings the sales event will be hit by the cost-of-living crisis and delivery problems linked to strikes
A survey by market research firm Opinium found that more than three-quarters plan to buy gifts on sale this year, and 13 percent will do so for the first time. But some of the gloss surrounding the Black Friday event has been negated by concerns that many of the claimed deals are duds.
Research published this week by consumer watchdog Which? suggested that there are very few deals specific to Black Friday. Often, products are held at the discounted price right through Christmas and the January sale.
Shoppers may also be deterred from spending online during the Black Friday sale, as Royal Mail deliveries are hit by strikes from the Communication Workers Union (CWU). Members are today on the second day of a 48-hour strike amid a long-running dispute over jobs, wages and working conditions.
When asked if there will be any more strikes before Christmas, CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “If we don’t fight, we can be absolutely sure that our members’ jobs will be destroyed and the service will will be destroyed. We have to step up the pressure.’
Shoppers may also be deterred from spending online during the Black Friday sale, as Royal Mail deliveries are hit by strikes from the Communication Workers Union (CWU). Pictured: Striking Royal Mail employees gather on a picket line outside Camden Town’s delivery office on Thursday
Courier experts ParcelHero predict that families will spend £4bn less on food, gifts and entertainment than last year. But head of consumer research, David Jinks, adds: ‘That doesn’t mean we’re all reduced to Christmas stockings full of nuts, knitted socks and an orange.
“There are ways to save enough money for a decent Christmas. Leaving enough time to shop online with free or low-cost delivery options can save you pounds instead of opting for expensive next-day delivery.”
There are also indications that Britons are increasingly looking for second-hand products rather than buying new ones.