// Shoppers to spend £2.53bn on Black Friday, 3.4% more than last year, according to a report
// For the 4-day Black Friday weekend – including Cyber Monday – customers expected to spend £8.57bn
// Spending in the UK is predicted to be the highest in Europe
UK consumers are predicted to spend a record amount on Black Friday despite intensifying political uncertainty, new figures suggest.
Shoppers are forecast to spend £2.53 billion on November 29, 3.4 per cent more than last year, according to a report by the Centre for Retail Research for VoucherCodes.
Meanwhile, for the full four-day Black Friday weekend – including Cyber Monday – customers are predicted to spend £8.57 billion.
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Spending in the UK is predicted to be the highest in Europe – 29 per cent higher than second-highest Germany and more than Italy, Spain, Belgium and The Netherlands combined.
However, the report suggests that consumers can expect to see many retailers stretch out their discount period for a full two weeks, with shoppers predicted to spend a total of £29.57 billion on deals over the 14 days.
VoucherCodes said British consumers were increasingly opting to stay away from “manic” stores to shop online instead, with online sales expected to grow by 8.3 per cent year-on-year and in-store forecasts dropping by 0.2 per cent.
“Even with concerns over consumer confidence due to Brexit and the upcoming General Election, it looks as though enthusiasm for Black Friday is showing no sign of slowing down in the UK, with total spend up 3.4% on 2018,” a VoucherCodes spokeswoman said.
“Black Friday falls slightly later in November this year, so there’s a possibility this will create a greater sense of urgency among shoppers to get their Christmas shopping done over the deal-filled weekend.”
However, separate research by Gumtree suggests that 58 per cent of British shoppers could ignore Black Friday sales this year, reducing spending by £805 million.
Almost half – or 45 per cent – of those surveyed said they wanted to avoid unnecessary purchases and 26 per cent reported spending less so as not to contribute to “mindless consumerism”.
Meanwhile, nine per cent said they were actively avoiding the sales in order to be more sustainable.
“Interestingly, the research revealed that thinking sustainably is an equal motivator as saving money during these peak sales periods, suggesting more Britons are looking at ways to reduce their impact on the planet,” a Gumtree spokesman said.