Retailers expect sales to grow on Black Friday

Retailers expect sales to grow on Black Friday

More than three-quarters of UK retailers plan to hold a promotion on Black Friday (27 November), new research suggests, as the event becomes an annual fixture in the UK retail calendar.

According to the Barclays Christmas Survey, 77% of UK retailers say they will hold a Black Friday promotion, with 69% forecasting sales growth compared to the same day last year, and just 4% predicting a fall. 

On average, retailers expect mobile sales to grow by a staggering 52% compared to last year, as the majority expect mobile to be the channel experiencing the biggest sales growth (56%). Click and collect is also expected to continue to rise in popularity, with orders estimated to increase 25%. 

More than three quarters of retailers are confident for the overall Christmas period, while 79% expect revenue to increase, with 14% predicting growth of more than 10%.  

Ian Gilmartin, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays, said the results are "more positive than ever", adding: "The overwhelming confidence around prospects for the whole Christmas season is great to see." 

"When Black Friday first came to the UK, the industry speculated about whether it was just a fad or would really take hold. This research shows that it appears to be here to stay, as for the first time, more than three-quarters of retailers plan to hold a promotion. 

"As long as retailers focus on selected lines and manage the level of discounting appropriately, this increased participation can contribute to a successful Christmas season." 

But the biggest threat to success is logistics stress (41%) followed by IT failure at 23%, Barclays found. 

Last month, Experian and online retail industry association IMRG predicted UK shoppers will spend GBP1.07bn (US$1.65bn) on Black Friday – rise of almost a third on last year, driven by increased consumer awareness of discounting by retailers.