17 November 2023
Jacqui Baker, head of retail at RSM UK, said: ‘With rising costs continuing to bite, consumers have little choice but to be more tactical with their Christmas spending this year. Albeit disappointing, subdued retail sales at the start of the crucial Golden Quarter does suggest that cash strapped consumers are holding back to maximise seasonal discounting to make their budgets stretch further. So, Black Friday might shed some festive cheer on what has been a challenging year.’
According to RSM UK’s survey*, over four in ten consumers plan to bring forward their Christmas spending this year, to spread the cost of purchases (42%) and to take advantage of discounts such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday (27%). This is particularly prevalent among younger consumers, with over half of millennials (55%) and Gen Z (52%) shopping earlier for Christmas this year.
Jacqui Baker added: ‘If retailers don’t get the Black Friday boost they’re banking on, this could be detrimental to stock levels, cashflow, and ultimately viability for some stores. Although retailers have learnt lessons from last year and taken a more measured approach towards stock management, they may be forced to extend their promotional activity post November if they’re unable to offload stock during this critical trading period.’
* A survey of 1,000 consumers from RSM UK