Black Friday ‘decaf’ in the UK

Black Friday is America’s quintessential shopping day, which has quite successfully exported the tradition to much of Europe. But in many countries of the Old Continent, non-essential shops are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Will that stop the consumer frenzy? Tadhg Enright, our London correspondent, has taken the pulse of London consumers

“We all try to look more than ever at what we spend -assures the first interviewee- and we do not waste as we have been able to do in other years. As you say it is good to take advantage of the offers when they are there, but I am a little more attentive to if I really need it this year.”

For another consumer, “it is silly to buy just because it is Black Friday.” Another Londoner highlights the lack of Christmas spirit, especially this year: “I have bought other years, but not recently. I think the situation caused by the coronavirus has thrown us all off the hook. I don’t know, I don’t feel at all that we’re close to the Christmas holidays. “

There is no doubt that it will be an unusual Christmas. The second lockdown has decaffeinated the holiday spirit. Before the second wave of coronavirus, more than half of shoppers said they were interested in shopping on Black Friday. But the percentage plummeted after the new confinement.

The mood swing has been more dramatic among younger shoppers. 82% of respondents ages 18-25 had planned to shop on Black Friday; Now they are only 44%. Lisa Hooker, Head of Markets at PWC has the clues: “Before the new restrictions were announced, consumer confidence had returned to the pre-pandemic level and that was because a lot of people saved money during the lockdown because they couldn’t leave. On vacation or going out, But then the new measures arrived and I think that especially the younger generation is worried about their job prospects. Some of the jobs they occupy have been particularly affected and I think their confidence level has deteriorated a lot ” .

Although crowds generally occur in the UK on this day, the truth is that Black Friday especially triggers online sales; And this year, unsurprisingly, even more. Tadhg Enright says the concern of merchants goes beyond this day: “In this part of the world, Black Friday is an American tradition adopted relatively recently. And many retailers they have mixed opinions about the positive repercussions for them. Surviving this crisis and reopening their doors is much more important to most than a day of sales. “