• In-store traffic on Friday 24th November 2023 was -3.1 percent from last year, according to the brand’s data
  • Shoppers shift Black Friday spend to earlier discounting days and take advantage of retailers’ extended promotional periods
  • While Black Friday footfall was down compared to 2022, it delivered a +52.4 percent week-on-week boost to shopper traffic on Friday 24th November 2023
  • Retail Parks defied the Black Friday decline, experiencing a +1.9 percent increase in footfall on Friday 24th Nov, thanks to their mix of big box and discount retail tenants

Sensormatic Solutions, the global retail solutions portfolio of Johnson Controls, shared its initial shopper traffic data from UK retail stores and shopping centres on Black Friday. The brand’s analytics revealed that shopper visits decreased by -3.1 percent this Black Friday, 24th November, compared to 2022, as shoppers shifted Black Friday spend to earlier discounting events as well as taking advantage of the extended deals and promotions being offered by retailers.

In further detail, Sensormatic Solutions data from its Sensormatic IQ platform, which captures 40billion shopper visits globally each year, showed that while Black Friday footfall -3.1 percent compared to 2022, the discounting event did deliver a week-on-week boost to shopper traffic, rising +52.4 percent compared to the Friday prior (Friday 17th November 2023).  While High Streets and Shopping Centres saw yearly declines in shopper traffic, Retail Parks defied the year-on-year Black Friday footfall decline, with store visits rising +1.9 percent compared to 2022. This could be attributed to the mix of both big box and discount retailers making up their retail offer, giving shoppers a ‘one stop shop’ for Black Friday deals.

With the cost-of-living pressures along with the event falling ahead of regular monthly paydays, this will have likely impacted shopper demand on Black Friday. Additionally, according to Sensormatic, consumers have also opted to shop earlier to spread the cost of Christmas. Original research of over 1,000 UK shoppers by Sensormatic in its annual UK Retail Shopper Sentiment Report showed that 70 percent had already started Christmas shopping ahead of the Black Friday weekend, while over half (55 percent) planned to shop earlier to spread the cost of Christmas over more paydays, rising to 61 percent of Millennials.

Andy Sumpter, Sensormatic Solutions’ EMEA Retail Consultant, commented: “For many retailers Black Friday remains one of their biggest discounting events of the year, but it seems the advent of Black Friday no longer marks the start of Christmas shopping for consumers.”

“In a bid to make squeezed household budgets work harder, we’re seeing shoppers starting gift buying earlier to spread the cost of Christmas. Additionally, new and earlier discounting events, such as Amazon Prime’s Big Deals Day in October, and extended promotional periods offered by retailers, are also bringing festive spend forwards,” Sumpter continued.  “Many retailers, including Amazon and Argos, started Black Friday sales a week ahead of the ‘official’ date, but some retailers, including Currys, were already offering deals from the beginning of November, extending discounts to win share of wallet and that coveted Christmas spend.”

While consumer appetite to shop in-store on Black Friday itself appears to be waning, the Saturday of the Black Friday weekend (Saturday 25th November 2023) is still expected to be the 3rd busiest day for footfall during 2023 peak trading, according to the annual predictions compiled in Sensormatic’s Europe’s Busiest Christmas Shopping Days report.  It expects ‘Super Saturday’ (23rd December), the last Saturday before Christmas, to be the busiest in-store shopping day of the entire 2023 peak trading season, rising from the UK’s 3rd busiest day for Christmas shopping in 2022.

Image courtesy of Unsplash. Photo credit: Tamanna Rumme.


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February 2024 issue

2023 A1 Buyers Guide