UK shoppers are expected to spend a record £8.57bn from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, 29 November – 2 December, equating to an average of £2.48m each minute of the four-day weekend.
UK sales are expected to hit £2.53bn on Black Friday alone – up 3.4% year on year – despite falling consumer confidence and tough trading conditions.
Although offline sales are still set to exceed online purchases by £1.03bn – £4.8bn compared with £3.77bn – offline purchases in the UK are expected to fall by 0.2% year on year. Online sales are, however, expected to be up by 8.3% on 2018.
Voucher website VoucherCodes.co.uk, which commissioned the research, said the UK is the only country in the report to show a decrease in offline purchases. Other countries include France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands.
It also revealed that the UK’s Black Friday spend is forecast to be the biggest in Europe – 28% higher than Germany, which came in second place.
VoucherCodes.co.uk director of marketing Jimmy New said: “It’s clear from this year’s research that Black Friday weekend is more important than ever for UK retailers in the wake of the current economic uncertainty.
“With increasing pressure on brands to offer the strongest discounts for longer time periods in order to secure sales, retailers need to ensure they implement well-planned discounting strategies and work closely with reliable partners to maximise the overall profits that can be made.
“Black Friday can be a great event for brands, but promotions should be planned strategically to avoid any overspend and ensure maximum return.”