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Date: 21st Nov 2016 | Posted in: Financial News, Sponsorship & Affinities, News

Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend spending expected to be the busiest ever

  • Spending during this year’s “Black Friday weekend” expected to top £4 billion
  • Sales on Black Friday showing signs of plateauing with spending increasing across Wednesday and Thursday. Sales continue to rise on Cyber Monday
  • Women continue to outspend men on Black Friday with under 30s spending more than over 60s

MBNA, one of the UK’s leading credit card providers, is predicting that shopping during this year’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend will top £4 billion for the first time ever. Last year, national sales on Black Friday topped £1.1 billion and total sales over the shopping weekend totalled more than £3.3 billion1 – an increase of 35 per cent on the previous year.

This year’s Black Friday will be 25 November, and Cyber Monday will be 28 November. MBNA has looked back at over 20 years’ worth of spending data across their millions of customers, to see how our spending habits have changed.

Black Friday plateauing across Wednesday and Thursday, Cyber Monday growing

MBNA data shows the Black Friday weekend first started to appear in earnest in the UK back in 2012, developing to become a prominent feature in 2013. The data shows how people have been concentrating their spending more and more on the Black Friday weekend, in preference to the earlier weeks in November. In 2013, spending increased by 17 per cent, while it was up 38 per cent in 2014.

The graph compares the spending patterns of MBNA customers around Black Friday weekend, compared to other weeks in November

However, while weekend’s figures were up 36 per cent in 2015, the numbers suggest a plateauing on Black Friday and a rise of sales on the prior Wednesday and Thursday. As well as retailers being better prepared, shoppers are anticipating deals across the week.

By contrast, sales on Cyber Monday continue to rise. Increasing 16 per cent in 2013, 20 per cent in 2014 and 28 per cent in 2015. This suggests shoppers are increasingly deferring their purchases on the Saturday and Sunday before buying online on Cyber Monday.

Currency

Overseas shoppers are increasingly using British websites in search of bargains because of the recent drop in the value of the pound, according to recent findings from IMRG2 – the association for online retailers.

The pound has dropped 16 per cent against the dollar and is 113 per cent down against the euro since the vote to leave the EU in June. The figures show that nearly 28 per cent of internet orders in October were dispatched to overseas addresses, up from 23 per cent in September. Customers outside the EU were leading the search for bargains.

UK retailers have also continued to benefit from the post-Brexit vote, as consumers maintain their appetite for great deals ahead of possible price rises next year. Recent data from ONS showed that retail sales increased in October 2016 by 7.4% compared to a year ago – further evidence of continued consumer confidence.4

Black Friday around the UK

The trends are also reflected by age and gender. Female spend on Black Friday has increased by 33 per cent between 2012 and 2015, and 22 per cent for men over the same period. In fact, the gap between female and male spending on Black Friday continued to widen in 2015.

Spend by the under-30s on Black Friday has jumped by 50 per cent since 2012, with the over-60s seeing a relatively modest 16 per cent increase over the same period. Spending on Cyber Monday is fairly similar.

As a proportion, Northern Ireland spends the most on Black Friday, although this growth stalled in 2015. The North West is the only region that saw negative growth in 2015. On Cyber Monday, Scotland now spends the highest proportion of its retail spend, with Wales and the North West showing low or negative growth in 2015.

Alan North, director of Credit and Analytics at MBNA said: “There are growing indications this Black Friday weekend will be the busiest ever, with UK sales likely to exceed £4 billion. Retailers are in the midst of a unique post-Brexit “perfect storm”. UK shoppers are maintaining their appetite for pre-Christmas bargains whilst the falling value of the pound is attracting overseas internet shoppers.

“The Black Friday weekend has become more complex over the past couple of years. Retailers and shoppers are becoming more sophisticated in how they approach it. Retailers are delivering a broader range of offers, both in-store and online. Shoppers are always looking for deals, but today they want more flexibility in how they shop and how they collect. There’s been a surge in so-called multi-channel shopping, that is, people buying online but collecting in-store – or browsing in-store but then buying online for home delivery.”

1 IMRG/Experian data: Black Friday Cyber Monday 2015 UK sales figures are in: UK shoppers spent £3.3bn over the weekend: http://www.cityam.com/229996/black-friday-cyber-monday-2015-uk-sales-figures-are-in-uk-shoppers-spent-33bn-over-the-weekend
2 IMRG, Non-EU destinations accounting for a greater share of online orders post-Brexit: https://www.imrg.org/media-and-comment/press-releases/non-eu-destinations-accounting-for-a-greater-share-of-online-orders-post-brexit/
3 These figures are calculated from 23 June until 17 November 2016.
4 https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/retailindustry/bulletins/retailsales/oct2016