PwC: Click and collect key to Black Friday sales

By Janet Brice
Who will be the winners and losers during Black Friday lockdown? PwC predict retailers with multi-channel options will drive up sales to £750 million...

Who will be the winners and losers during a Black Friday lockdown? Click and collect will be the key to £750 million of Black Friday sales for UK retailers – despite England and Scotland still placed in its second lockdown, according to PwC.

PwC predicted a rise in online spending particularly for retailers who can provide a click and collect service. “This year, click and collect will be important. Not only is up to £750m of sales expected through this channel, but it can also help alleviate pressure on home delivery channels,” comment PwC.

“In an ideal world, retailers that provide omni channel offerings such as click and collect would also be able to give customers a seamless experience,” says PwC’s report, Black Friday and Cyber Monday – 2020.

PwC predicted that with most physical stores closed, consumers are expected to do 88% of Black Friday shopping online this year, up from 77% in 2019, with the greatest penetration of online spending coming from 45-64-year-olds (93%).

“This channel shift is something we’ve witnessed most of the year and is at least partly responsible for a record net loss in chain stores. In February, 20% of all retail sales were online. In May, it was 34%,” outlines the report.

According to PwC while some retailers have avoided discounting in the past, that would mean missing out on a significant minority of shoppers. “Even with fewer people shopping, 38% of all consumers are looking for a deal, rising to over 50% in the key spending demographic of 25-44-year-olds.”

Then and now

Before lockdowns in England and Wales, Black Friday spending was estimated to increase by 8% this year - from £7.8bn to £8.4bn. But that all changed in a matter of days when the UK government announced a second lockdown.

This year’s Black Friday sales in the UK are predicted by PwC to fall by £6.2bn - a 20% decline vs last year. However, PwC predicts that those interested in Black Friday are expected to spend more because of the second lockdown. 

According to a survey by PwC, consumers said their Black Friday spending would rise by 8% (from £293 to £316) from last year, with 26% wanting to treat themselves with money saved from COVID-19. 

“This could be why those in the north west, who have had the strictest local restrictions for longest, were expecting to be the biggest spenders (£445 each). To put in context, it’s more than double the spend of Yorkshire and the Humber (£220), the south west (£207) and Wales (£222),” comments PwC.

Spending patterns

PwC predict men have more interest in electricals and technology and intend to spend more than women (£373 vs £244). Those in the 35-44-year bracket are the highest spending age group (£429), expecting to spend more than double over 65s (£201).

More consumers are bringing forward their Christmas shopping, with almost a third looking to buy presents over Black Friday. This intention is even higher in women (36%).

The top trend for consumers is shown to be electricals and technology due to several high-profile launches including the iPhone 12, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X although it is still below 12% below the 2019 spending.

The only shopping categories to have recovered from last year is health and beauty (up 4%), children’s clothing (up 8%) and Christmas stocking fillers up by 3%. 

“This year, it seems Black Friday isn’t just about finding a bargain - it’s also about making sure Christmas shopping is done early, avoiding crowds and overcoming possible last-minute delivery problems,” says the report.

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