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Will Brexit Cause Black Friday Slowdown?

Online sales have increased year on year since 2010 with a peak in sales in November compared to any other month in the year, according to data from ONS.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both gained popularity worldwide over the years. In the UK Black Friday average value for internet sales stood at £1.6bn in 2017 and £1.8bn in 2018 according to the ONS. With every month of the year in 2019 so far having higher online sales, we can perhaps expect Black Friday sales this year to soar.

Despite the uncertainty of a Brexit deal or no deal, analysts at EKM expect Black Friday shopping trends to continue to rise.

Antony Chesworth, Founder and CEO comments;

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest selling days of the year, especially for online retailers. But the chaos around Brexit could have an effect on purchasing all the way up to the day. It will be interesting to see how consumers shopping habits might change.

“Last year, UK online retail reached 194 million visits on Black Friday – down 3% since the previous year. Will this trend continue, plummet further or even boost sales?”.

According to The UK in a Changing Europe, a no deal would certainly have an affect on both retail owners and shoppers. We would expect the pound to drop as an economic reaction as well as push up inflation rates slightly, but with Black Friday being nearly a month after the current set date, would these effects recover enough to improve shoppers confidence?

Economists have stated that a no deal will result in a prolonged period of uncertainty for the UK, 50% of UK goods exports and supply chains will be disrupted and make any future deals with the EU that much harder.

They’ve predicted that the effects of a no deal would be immediate, but the severity of the impact will depend on a number of factors including the extent to trade disruption, and the impact on consumer and business confidence to name a few.

A no deal may deter shoppers from spending their money but, again depending on the severity, the initial effects may fade quicker than expected.

Alan Greensmith, Head of Sales comments;

“Whether we do leave the EU later than the proposed deadline or not, retailers who import from EU countries should be prepared for a price increase from their supplier and potentially transportation costs as well as a delay in getting stock.

“The view we get from customers is that whether we leave or stay within the EU, they’re still getting their stores ready for their own Black Friday sales. This gives us a good indication that either way, online retailers will be prepared and are ready for the result.

“However, Black Friday shopping trends over the years dictate that the trend should rise again in 2019. Our customers are based solely in the UK and our research shows that even they will be shopping for their own deals – 41.1% said they’d be shopping on Black Friday, and 37.5% said they’d be shopping online, with 59.4% saying both online and instore and only 3.1% who will shop instore on the day”.

If however, the Brexit deadline ends up being extended again to any of the proposed dates, this will most likely mean business as usual for most retailers until we know definitively either way. If this is the case we could expect to see a rise in Black Friday sales this year, adhering to the year on year trend.

With Black Friday being so close to the Christmas period, e-commerce experts at EKM believe that this might actually boost Black Friday sales further, with shoppers trying to get as many deals as possible to help with the cost of Christmas.

But no amount of predictions can help to settle any nerves about the Brexit deadline and we will only be able to see the effects as and when they occur.


For further editorial information contact Rachel Smith at EKM on 07525753892 or rachelsmith@ekm.com.

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