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Christmas discounting to overtake Black Friday

More retailers will offer promotions in the final week before Christmas Day than during the Black Friday weekend, says auditor PwC.

New data shows 84% of online retailers and 75% of high street stores in the UK offered some kind of promotion over this year’s Black Friday weekend, in similar levels to last year.

More than a third of UK retailers offering discounts over the Black Friday weekend returned to full price sales the following week. However, around 10% of all retailers surveyed promptly relaunched promotions afterwards.

PwC said that in line with trends seen at the same point last year, it expects more retailers to be offering promotions in the final week before Christmas than during the Black Friday weekend.

Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, noted a rise in promotional activity this year, as retailers strive to clear festive stock while the weather remains favourable.

She said: “As we rapidly approach Christmas itself, we are already seeing an uptick in promotional activity as retailers try to attract customers through their doors and clear festive stock, particularly as last week’s snow and ice put a dent on high street footfall across large parts of the country.

“Last year, 98% of the online retailers we surveyed had some kind of homepage promotion in the week before Christmas. While this year’s trend does not suggest we will reach the same levels, we are expecting to see more bargains for shoppers in the coming week, with more retailers on promotion next week than over Black Friday.”

Hooker also observed several retailers that previously chose not to participate in Black Friday offered “some kind of promotion this year”.

She said: “Consumers have told us that the beginning of December is the most popular time to do their Christmas shopping, so retailers have listened and learnt to schedule their promotions to preserve margin over this critical period.”

PwC based its data on promotions advertised during November and December in high street shop windows and homepages of leading UK department stores and chains.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Insane. The Industry is hitting the buffers.

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  • Over supply. Lack of differentiation. E commerce stealing share, but eroding value of total market. Poor strategies home to roost.

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