Black Friday – how did consumers spend their money?


We hope that you prepared for Black Friday because we are now well into the sales season that goes beyond the day itself and Cyber Monday, we’re now officially in the build up to Christmas – holidays are coming (sorry we had to put that in). But what are the early indications of how much has been spent?

Let’s take a look at some stats from the last few days and see how the public have voted with their wallets this year.

  • Overall transactions were up by 8% on last year according to Barclaycard – showing that the love affair with Black Friday is only continuing to grow.
  • On the downside though, footfall in retail parks, shopping centres, and high street shops decreased by 4.2%.
  • Shoppers were said to have spent close to £2.6bn on Black Friday itself.
  • A total of around £7.8bn was the predicted consumer spending over Black Friday and the 3 subsequent days – which included Cyber Monday. This was the forecast made by discount provider Voucher Codes.
  • John Lewis, Argos and Amazon were unsurprisingly the most dominant drivers of spending on Black Friday and across the weekend.
  • But not every retailer was enamored with the quickfire spending frenzy. Marks and Spencer, Harrods and Primark all opted out of special deals.
  • There were some first-timers: clothes retailer, Next, had Black Friday sales for the first time ever.


What can be interpreted from this?

From these early numbers, it’s clear that Black Friday is becoming more important than ever before. More money is being spent – not just on the day  – but across the weekend as well as Cyber Monday. This 4-day‘ sales bonanza’ is becoming as much of an annual tradition as Boxing Day and consumers know this – so will always be on the hunt for a good deal.

But, crucially this year has shown a decrease in footfall. Whilst this might mean less consumers physically entering stores, it has also ensured chaotic scenes of shoppers fighting over items are becoming a thing of the past. This demonstrates that the demand for online is even greater than in previous years.

It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that being an eCommerce business in the sales season offers a distinct advantage over others which aren’t.


Black Friday is not for everyone. The fact that huge names in British retail like M&S and Harrods felt that they could opt out of the annual event demonstrates that fact. This could also be applied to your business. If you think Black Friday is either a waste of time; does very little for revenue or simply isn’t ‘on brand’, then there is nothing wrong with refusing to follow the crowd.

Whilst Black Friday and the sales season, in general, can be very helpful, businesses should only get involved if they are actually going to be useful.


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