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Retail Analysts Outline Pessimistic Outlook for Festive Sale Season

15 November 2019 - 13:08 by Simon Crisp

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Projections from IMRG suggest that Black Friday may not be the magic bullet that retailers were hoping for this year, with anticipated sales growth of as little as two per cent anticipated.

Indeed, this is a prediction that many analysts believe is on the high side, with some claiming that there may actually be a drop in spending in the UK both via safe shopping online and on the high street during this peak period of consumer activity.

This is all based on the performance seen in the industry over the past couple of months, with flat growth in September being cited as one of the reasons that researchers are cautious about how things will play out in the coming weeks.

There is also the suggestion that retailers are well aware of the risks they face - hence the decision taken by many brands to kick-start their Black Friday discounts earlier than usual in an attempt to coax customers to part with their cash rather than holding on to it.

Report spokesperson Andy Mulcahy said that while Black Friday has built up momentum in recent years, with some firms even attempting to replicate its success during earlier periods of the year, it may not be able to keep pace with prior growth in 2019.

This will likely have a knock-on effect over Christmas itself, although there are a variety of factors to take into account when examining exactly why UK retail is in such a state at the moment.

Analysts blame a mixture of low consumer confidence levels caused by Brexit and the fact that retailers are now in a constant cycle of having to offer discounts to win over shoppers. Furthermore, people are choosing to spend their cash on other things, such as leisure activities, which means there is simply less left over for retail purchases.