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UK households gearing up to spend a whopping £3bn in the Black Friday sales

07 November 2017
  • Each UK household will spend on average £108 in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales
  • Almost a third (31%) of households will check out the sales
  • Clothing and accessories, toys and games, and health and beauty products head this year’s sale shopping list

New research**, commissioned by GoCompare Credit Cards, estimates that UK consumers will spend billions of pounds on the Black Friday weekend, which starts on Friday 24 November and ends on Monday 27 November (Cyber Monday).

Clicks beat bricks for shoppers

Just under a third (31%) of UK households say they plan to check out this year’s sales:

  • 49% of them will shop online
  • 21% say they will pay a visit to the high-street
  • 9% will shop via their smartphone

Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping list 

 Rank Item %
 1 Clothing and accessories 21
 2 PS4 or Xbox games or console 16
 3 Toys and games 14
 4 Health and beauty products and perfume 12
 5 Laptop 12
 6 Television 11
 7 Smartphone 10
 8 Tablet computer 9
 9 White goods (e.g. fridge, fridge-freezer, washing machine, dishwasher) 8
 10 Headphones 7


Plan ahead for real Christmas bargains

For many, Black Friday signals the start of Christmas shopping, and 8% of those surveyed intend to buy most of their Christmas presents in this year’s sales and 12% have delayed major purchases hoping to find them cheaper in the sales.

However, consumers often fail to plan their sales shopping by researching the deals in advance and agreeing a budget before they start buying, which can lead to wasteful spending:

  • Just 15% of bargain-hunters plan ahead by comparing prices before big sale events
  • 10% have bought things in a past sale they didn’t need
  • 6% admitted to getting carried away and overspending   

So it’s hardly surprising that, for many shoppers, sales fatigue and scepticism has set in:

  • Nearly a fifth (18%) are fed-up with the end of November sales hype
  • 29% say they will avoid the sales this year
  • Only 10% of those surveyed thought Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales were a good opportunity to bag a bargain

Most spending will be on plastic

People were also asked how they intend pay for their Black Friday shopping spree:

  • 36% plan to use a debit card
  • 23% will fund purchases through a credit card
  • 14% will use cash
  • Only 3% said they had put money aside specifically for the sales

Commenting on the research Georgie Frost, head of consumer affairs at GoCompare, said: “There is a huge amount of hype around Black Friday in the UK now. Get ready for all manner of retailers urging you to ‘act quickly’ before ‘unmissable deals’ on ‘must-have’ products end but be careful not to get caught up in the frenzy. Think about what you actually want and can afford before you buy and set yourself a limit.

“There are some genuinely good deals to be had but make sure you do your homework. With sales on all year round, check other websites to see if you can’t find the item for a cheaper price elsewhere.

“Think too about how you will cover the cost of your Black Friday spending. If you really want the items and believe you have found a good deal, then credit cards can be a good way of spreading the cost of sales shopping, but only if used sensibly.  So think carefully about the kind of card you need. Don’t feel you need to take out a 39 month interest-free offer if you can realistically pay off Black Friday and Christmas spending over a six month period.  And set your repayments at a realistic level to pay off the debt as quickly as you can.  Otherwise you are increasing the chances that you will forget about it and end up paying costly interest charges on the debt.”

To compare 0% credit cards and find the right one for your needs, see GoComapre's guide page.

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Notes to editors:

*£3bn calculation based on: According to the ONS Housing and Homeownership in the UK survey (May 2016) there are 28 million households in the UK.   Average planned spend in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales by all UK households is £108.60 therefore, 28 million x £108,60 = £3,040,800,000 (rounded to £3bn).

**On 10 October 2017, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,000 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.