Nearly two-fifths of UK shoppers plan to participate in the Black Friday promotional period this year, although clothing and footwear are not expected to be high on their shopping lists as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic dampens demand for partywear.

The event will be an important occasion to purchase Christmas gifts for consumers who have been hardest hit by the economic impacts of the crisis, says data and analytics company GlobalData.

“Black Friday will be most popular among younger shoppers, with 60.3% of 16-34-year-olds intending to buy items on a Black Friday promotion this year, persuaded by the extended discounting period among many retailers and the potential for significant discounts,” says Emily Salter, retail analyst at GlobalData. “Though this will help retailers to clear stock, especially seasonal clothing and footwear items, it will be detrimental to their profitability.”

Black Friday has become an increasingly online event and will be even more so this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, attracting younger more digital-savvy shoppers.

GlobalData says this may lead to backlogs of orders and extended delivery times as retailers must balance increased online demand with social distancing and courier capacity, with more agile digital retailers such as Amazon and ASOS more likely to be able to cope with this and meet high consumer expectations of delivery speed.

“Electricals and technology is the category that most consumers intend to purchase, with 53.8% of those planning to participate in the event wanting to buy into the sector,” Salter adds. “GlobalData expects clothing and footwear to be less popular this year due to dampened demand for partywear, though branded sportswear could be a saving grace for retailers such as Asos and Next, as well as sports brands themselves, including NIKE and adidas. Consumers will be likely to spend on other sectors instead, including homewares as they continue to spend more time at home.”

The data is from GlobalData’s survey of 2,000 nationally representative UK shoppers carried out in the first two weeks of October 2020.