Black Friday weekend

As we rapidly approach Black Friday weekend, what is the consensus amongst consumers?

Could the iconic period, that became a staple of the UK’s shopping calendar twelve years ago, rise in popularity this year as bargain loving Brits search for discounts? Or, will spending be curtailed and the purse strings drawn as people batten down the hatches in a bid to weather the storm that is the cost of living crisis? 

In this article, we take a look at Black Friday 2022 and what can be expected. 

Can Brits afford Christmas?

A recent Metro article highlighted that: “spending on non-essentials this Christmas will plummet by £12bn” in the build up to Christmas. 

According to a survey by Sitecore, which delves into responses from more than 2,000 UK consumers, 40% of Brits have said they can’t afford Christmas, with 42% suggesting that it’ll only be the kids who are receiving gifts. 

Similarly, more than half of those surveyed detailed that they’ve cut back on their own personal expenditure in a bid to afford their kids’ presents. 

A report by YouGov in the build up to Christmas 2021 mentioned that the average Brit was expecting to spend £1,108 during the festive season which, interestingly, was a rise of over £200 compared to the previous year. These figures aligned with 14 percent of the population noting that they expected their debt to increase over the festive break. 

Obviously, this time last year, spending was a lot more frivolous. Now, in October 2022, speculation is circulating that typical household energy bills could reach £4,347 a year from next April, while Kantar has revealed that consumers can expect to pay £571 more in 2022 for their groceries than they did in 2021. More worryingly, Kantar’s Head of Retail and Consumer Insight added: “there’s no end in sight to grocery inflation rates.”

Not cancelling Christmas and searching for solutions

Factoring in tax increases, Economist Tom Pugh notes how: “real household disposable incomes are on track for a record fall of about 2% in 2022”, going on to mention how a small, additional rise in oil prices or disruptions to the supply chain could easily push the UK into recession. With disposable incomes down and many suggesting that they will not be strong-armed by the cost of living crisis into axing Christmas and the joy it brings, it’s time to resort to alternative solutions.

The number of people spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2021 was down 6% Year-on-Year in the UK according to with the average spend also down from £295.67 to £275.00. Their report suggests, however, that despite average spend expected to fall this year, the percentage of shoppers getting involved in the event will return to its 2020 levels. 

What can be done then? Well, the best way to find middle ground between a desire to buy gifts and a need to keep costs to a minimum is to shop savvy when it comes to Black Friday weekend – that’s why we’re earmarking it as the most important one yet. 

Black Friday shopping advice

Let’s take a look at some Black Friday weekend shopping tips.

Go prepared

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail as the age-old saying goes. If you’re shopping for Christmas gifts, be sure to know what you’re looking for before Black Friday weekend arrives. Do some research in advance and find the items you’re after before the sale lands, otherwise you’ll end up buying numerous air fryers that you don’t need. Take Black Friday shoes for example – check them out online before the main event and pick the styles you want!

Create a wishlist

Making a pre-populated list can save you hours of time trawling websites that you’re inevitably going to have no luck with. Pick a retailer, have everything you want bookmarked and saved to your wishlist, and when the moment comes, arrive on site to discover whether or not it’s been discounted. 

Don’t neglect the returns policy

Knowing how long you have to return items is essential, especially when buying things as gifts. Check the retailer’s terms and conditions in regard to returns and see how long you’ve got – again, it could save you a pretty penny. 

Start shopping ahead of Black Friday

While Black Friday used to be confined to a solitary shopping day, many retailers now offer you the opportunity to grab yourself a good deal on items for an extended period of time, offering up to 70% off items well in advance of Black Friday and beyond Cyber Monday. 

While we might be travelling head first into the bleak mid-winter, get to grips with Black Friday and you could save yourself a fortune ahead of Christmas – a metaphorical icing on top of your festive pudding!