72% more UK retailers have opted to take part in Black Friday this year, compared to 2017, according to a recent survey by LovetheSales.com
UK Retailers that avoided taking part in Black Friday sale in previous years are now taking part, which is likely due to declining consumer confidence that has seen retail sales growth slowing.
‘2018 has seen one of the toughest years for retailers for a long time,’ LovetheSales.com founder and retail analyst Stuart McClure said.
‘Uncertainty around Brexit and reduced spending confidence from consumers have been significant issues, and the long hot summer has hindered sales of Autumn and Winter wear.’
Which retailers are taking part?
Fashion retailer FatFace, whose CEO suggested Black Friday discounting was ‘Bonkers’ in 2017, has decided to offer customers 50% all week.
Fellow clothing brand Whistles, who opted out of Black Friday last year, decided to 30% off everything across their stores as part its sale season.
Elsewhere, supermarket Asda and home improvement retailer Homebase, both reluctant to take part in Black Friday last year, have actively promoted the sale, with the former promoting ‘Green is the New Black’ offers to customers ahead of the Christmas holidays.
‘Black Friday offers an opportune time for stores to try and claw back some of the transactions they have missed out on, as well as moving the slower selling winter lines, especially as it is very cold right now,’ McClure said.
‘Retailers who are known for eschewing the Black Friday furore are returning to it in 2018. This is testament to the fact that its been a tough year, and that many need the seasonal boost to their sales,’ he added.
Tough times for retailers
In October, the retail sales fell by 0.5% compared with the previous month, with a strong decline of 3.0% in household goods following a particularly strong August and September, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The news suggest that consumers are tightening their belts after a relatively frivolous summer that saw sales boosted by a prolonged period of hot weather and the FIFA World Cup, with retailers and investors fearing that the UK economy is beginning to show signs of slowing down.
Meanwhile, eurozone consumers’ confidence has also began to wane, with the EU Commission’s headline consumer sentiment indicator dropping to -3.9 in November, according to Eurostat data published on Thursday.