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Black Friday 2019 could be 'most disruptive' yet

With Black Friday falling after pay day, more than one-quarter of shoppers plan to bring forward their Christmas spend, meaning this year’s event could “be one of the most disruptive for the retail industry”, new research suggests.

This year, the Black Friday Sales event falls after pay day for most people – a factor that 19% said would encourage them to spend more, a report from Retail Economics and payment provider Klarna has found.

The research suggests real earnings have risen for 14 consecutive months, strengthening consumers’ finances and, with the date falling closer to Christmas, 28% plan to purchase some of their gifts during the promotional period. This has risen from 23% last year. 

More than one-quarter of shoppers (26%) are planning to make a purchase during Black Friday, up from 21% in 2018. Of those planning to buy during the discount period, 78% of consumers have intentionally delayed their spend in anticipation of Black Friday.

However, half (54%) expect to spend less than last year, and only 8% are expecting better deals. 

Spend continues to shift online, and 55% of those intending to partake said they would do more shopping online. 

Retail Economics CEO Richard Lim said: “Black Friday is likely to be more disruptive this year, given that the event falls after pay day for most households and savvier shoppers are looking to grab a bargain and start their Christmas shopping early.

“What’s more, household finances are in a much stronger position than last year. Although consumer confidence remains soft, such a highly anticipated event may be the key in unlocking this demand.

“For retailers, this is all about competitive advantage. No one wants to give away margin before the all-important Christmas trading period, but the genie is out of the bottle and so the successful retailers will be those that can outmanoeuvre their competitors without eroding too much of their profitability.”

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