Retailers' heavy investment in Black Friday promotions looks set to pay off, as almost half of UK shoppers say they will participate in the event and take advantage of today's deals, according to new findings from research consultancy Verdict.

Black Friday is here to stay, says Verdict

Retailers’ heavy investment in Black Friday promotions looks set to pay off, as almost half of UK shoppers say they will participate in the event and take advantage of today’s deals, according to new findings from research consultancy Verdict.

Black Friday is here to stay, says Verdict

In an online consumer survey of 10,000 UK shoppers in October, 47% of shoppers said they intend to buy a promotion today, and women will lead the charge – with 61% of female consumers expecting to make a purchase.

Black Friday appeals most to younger shoppers, with 56% of 15-24 year olds planning to spend. This figure rises to 59% for 25-34 year olds. In contrast, mature shoppers over 65 are notably less interested, with just 28% of shoppers likely to make a purchase.

Verdict expects Black Friday to become a permanent fixture in the UK retail calendar as consumer expectation and demand continues to grow. “With many shoppers still not prepared to pay full price, resulting in high levels of shopping around, providing unbeatable discounts and unique offers will prove crucial on Black Friday 2014 to seize consumer spend,” said Verdict analyst Kate Ormrod.

“Given the challenges faced by many in the UK retail sector this year, Black Friday will also prove useful for many clothing and footwear players left with high levels of winter stock such as knitwear, outwear and accessories, following the unseasonably warm autumn.”

The research also revealed that 25% of UK shoppers are planning to make their Christmas purchases earlier this year compared with 2013. “While many consumers have previously held out for deeper discounts in the run-up to Christmas, this year they are more confident than ever that discounts will come through earlier, such as those on Black Friday, resulting in spend being brought forward,” added Kate Ormrod.

Verdict estimates that an extra £2.3bn will be spent this Christmas compared with 2013 – a rise of 2.6%, reaching £90.7bn (£53.6bn on non-food and £37.1bn on food and grocery) owing to an improving housing market and rising consumer confidence. Online retailing will play a key role, making up £13bn of spend, with click & collect accounting for £1.6bn of sales.

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