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Black Friday’s full impact revealed in ONS figures

22 December 2017 - 08:22 by Graham Miller

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Last month Black Friday and Cyber Monday heralded the start of the festive shopping season, with stats published by the Office for National Statistics underlining just how important these events have become for the retail market as a whole.

November’s consumer spending was up 10.2 per cent year on year in the e-commerce sphere, with safe shopping online helping to prop up the rest of the market once again.

Of course this growth is still way below the boom which was brought about during the same period last year, when spending rose by a quarter as a result of Black Friday fever.

Report spokesperson, Rhian Murphy, said that sales growth was proving to be resilient at the moment, with pre-Christmas promotions helping to encourage more consumers to part with their cash.

A 19.4 per cent rise in the sale of fashion and footwear items via safe shopping online allowed this segment to outperform others in terms of raw growth. There was also a 4.6 per cent rise in food sales, according to Internet Retailing.

Observers speak of the evolution that has occurred over recent years as a result of the rise of Black Friday. Yet in 2017 many retailers were offering discounts well in advance of the day itself, which meant that spending was not quite as concentrated within a specific timeframe as in the past.

This is all down to competition, as retailers want to stimulate spending before their rivals can get the ball rolling. The result is that November may soon become the month of sales, usurping January’s traditional role.

How this will impact bricks and mortar spending remains to be seen, but online shopping continues to catalyse spending in the UK in the run up to December the 25th.