Black Friday gains traction in UK, with 72% of consumers aware of the term

Nearly three-quarters of UK consumers have heard of Black Friday, the nickname given to the Friday after Thanksgiving when retailers cut their prices and offer promotions, according to research from eDigitalResearch.

Asda: the Walmart-owned supermarket led the Black Friday charge last year
Asda: the Walmart-owned supermarket led the Black Friday charge last year

This year’s Black Friday –  the US equivalent of Boxing Day sales – takes place on 28 November.

According to eDigitalResearch, 2014 will see more UK consumers join in the sales extravaganza, which made its way over the Atlantic in 2010 thanks to Amazon and last year saw Walmart's Asda lead the charge in the UK.

Research from eDigitalResearch and Iorma (the International Omni Retailing Markets Association) found 72% of UK consumers have heard of the term. Less than half (45%) of consumers have heard of Cyber Monday, which falls on the 1 December this year and is the day online retailers typically experience a surge in sales.

Aside from Amazon, which is already gearing up online for Black Friday promising "Seven days, thousands of deals", an increasing number of high street brands are latching on to the gimmick, including John Lewis and Shop Direct, which both took part last year.

But according to the research, 30% of consumers are planning to make the majority of their Christmas purchases on or around Cyber Monday.

The research, which was gleaned from quizzing a sample of 1,000 UK consumers, also found that 22% of British consumers had bought something on Back Friday in the past.

When asked if retailer promotions influence their online shopping behaviour, 35% of respondents said they had been encouraged to buy items because of deals.

Chris Russell, eDigitalResearch’s joint chief executive and Iorma board advisor, said: "Up until a few years ago, very few of us had even heard of the term Black Friday.

"Now, almost three-quarters of UK consumers know what the term is, although there is still understandably confusion for some, with many actively anticipating the day to arrive.

"The challenge for retailers will be to capitalise on the opportunity as more and more shoppers look to grab a bargain.

"The entire retail experience and customer journey – from marketing to logistics – needs to be exceptional, especially as more of the market look to cash in on Black Friday."

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