‘Black Friday’ is now an accepted part of UK shopping culture, spreading well before and after the day itself, and officially kicking-off the Christmas ‘season to be spending’.

In conjunction with Toluna, global online community panel specialists, we questioned over 1,400 UK consumers repeating our annual Black Friday poll, for a fourth year, to measure how shopping behaviour around Black Friday compared to last year.

Before the event, PwC were predicting a sharp increase in spend reflecting consumers seeking out deals ahead of well-publicised and inevitable price increases as a result of the post-Brexit fall in the value of sterling, e.g. Apple adjusting their RRP in the UK.

With major retailers exploiting the opportunity to spike sales, e.g. after resisting Black Friday last year, John Lewis reported their best ever week of trading after a 5 day sale, research by Which? revealed that only around half of 2015 Black Friday deals were actually cheaper than in the weeks preceding and after Black Friday.

Whilst industry data indeed reports total related spend is up, e.g. Visa saw £2bn on their cards alone (+13%), our Black Friday poll shows that, compared to last year, slightly fewer individual consumers took advantage of Black Friday deals (32%; -1% point) – as in previous years, purchases are driven by sub-35s (46% were buyers) and ignored by 55+s (83% were non-buyers) – suggesting that some consumers are behaving more cautiously and perhaps, reflecting uncertainty over the actual state of the economy, as highlighted in the marked monthly drop in GfK’s November Consumer Confidence Index.

From next week, we will be publishing the results of our 2016 Giving Tuesday and Small Business Saturday polls.

Black Friday