SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 30 January 2023, Monday |

Cost-of-living crisis casts shadow over Europe’s Black Friday

Although the World Cup is a distraction and the cost of living crisis is getting worse, Europe’s retailers are hoping that Black Friday sales day will encourage consumers to spend.

As consumers cut back, retailers across Europe worry that the overall Christmas shopping season may be the worst in at least ten years. At the same time, rising business costs are also threatening profit margins.

Double-digit inflation has dented consumers’ purchasing power and their confidence is also at or close to the gloomiest on record as soaring energy bills add to the spiralling cost of living.

But to help budget their finances, consumers have begun their Christmas shopping early this year and many are still shopping on Black Friday.

Some consumers may, however, have other priorities, with Wales, England, the Netherlands and Poland all in action on Friday at the World Cup.

Britons will spend 8.7 billion pounds ($10.5 billion) over the Black Friday weekend (Nov. 25 to Nov. 28), according to research by GlobalData for VoucherCodes – up 0.8% year-on-year but masking a big drop in volumes once inflation is accounted for.

As of 1300 GMT, Barclaycard Payments, which processes 1 pound ($1.21) in every three pounds spent in the UK, had seen a 0.7% increase in the volume of payments versus 2021.

This year, consumers will use Black Friday, which has become more of an online event, much more for jumping on spontaneous deals and for Christmas gifts, rather than for bigger, delayed purchases, according to consultants McKinsey.

Its research shows a quarter of UK consumers have already done their Christmas shopping, while about one in 10 plan to do most of it on Black Friday.

Idealo, the European price comparison portal, said 65% of online Italian shoppers are ready to buy something during the event.

    Source:
  • Reuters