"Black Friday has had its day" - Parcelhero report
Black Friday week may be upon us, but a new report suggests that the event as a whole has "had its day". Home delivery specialist ParcelHero said this Black Friday is likely to see stalling growth in overall online spending in the UK and no boom in spending in physical shops either.
It's blaming low consumer confidence and “stretched-out, lacklustre online deals” that “have blackened Friday’s prospects” and turned it into a "dull month of stock clearance".
The event first hit the UK in 2010, really gaining pace a few years later and has gone on to create new spending records annually. But the delivery firm is expecting a change for 2019 and is forecasting zero spending growth this time.
Its Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, said: “In the early years stores such as Tesco and Asda were forced to lock their doors, such was the demand; while more recently it has grown online at 12% annually. This year we’re seeing some big predictions for record Black Friday profits; but we’ve been analysing data from many sources and we are not so optimistic”.
So why is the company so bleak in its outlook? Well, last year Black Friday made a record £2.4 billion, including online sales of £1.4 billion. But while online sales grew 7%, that was a disappointment compared to growth in previous years. And the company thinks that "disillusioned online shoppers will join high street shoppers in losing interest in Black Friday, leading to no overall growth for the first time in its barnstorming 10-year history”.
That assessment is perhaps no surprise, especially given the scepticism that seems to be growing around the validity of many of the deals that retailers are offering.
The report comes at the same time as consumer group Which? has also poured cold water on Black Friday deals, suggesting that the vast majority of them are fake. It said that looking at a number of deals offered last year (83 of them) only one in 20 were genuine. The other 19 items were cheaper or the same price at other times of the year. It said the deals were “all hype”.
But it's not only scepticism that undermining the event with a general feeling of Black Friday fatigue caused by deals that start much earlier in November.
ParcelHero’s Jinks said: “The fact is online shoppers now know sites are pacing their offers over not just the day or the weekend, or even the whole week; we’ve seen a whole fortnight of ‘warm-up’ offers. Even Black Friday’s prime instigator, Amazon, couldn’t wait beyond last Friday to kick off its Black Friday sale.
“Endless rolling offers take away from the need – and let’s face it, the slight thrill – of logging on this Friday and zeroing in on some genuinely great bargains. Black Friday has become a dull month of stock clearance; and internet shoppers are unlikely to be breaking any records this year”.
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