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What's in store for
Black Friday this year?

29 November 2019

Black Friday is a shopping phenomenon that is finding its way into the Dutch retail calendar after it was imported from the US earlier this decade. There are now many events in the last months of the year. But is Black Friday, and its close relative Cyber Monday, here to stay? What do consumers think of it? We asked 2,000 consumers in the Netherlands and compared their behaviour with other countries such as the UK, France and Germany.

64% of adults, especially young adults, are interested in Black Friday

Young adults are the most interested in Black Friday - within the age group 18-34, 80% of respondents say they are interested. Black Friday is predominantly marketed online. "When consumers make extensive use of social media and deals websites, we see the popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday increasing strongly. That explains the fame among the younger target group", says Milo Hartendorf, retail expert at PwC.

Consumers expect to spend 230 euros on Black Friday purchases, this is up 14% compared to last year

Consumers are particularly using Black Friday to take advantage of the reduced sales prices versus the generally full-price purchases related to Sinterklaas (St Nicholas) and Christmas. Growth in average spend grew by an estimated 14% compared to last year, which is mainly driven by respondents with an annual household income up to 60,000 euros.

Compared to other countries, we see that average spend in the Netherlands is still relatively low and the rate of increase in spend lags behind for instance France and Germany.

Only 12% of respondents say current economic uncertainty is the main reason for them to expect to spend less in this year’s Black Friday sale compared to last year

This suggests that fears around an upcoming recession due to Brexit and the ongoing Sino-American trade war, are not a major consideration for consumers to adjust their spending. Consumers in Germany and France appear to worry even less about a potential economic downturn - only 5% of the respondents that expect to spend less cite economic uncertainty as their main reason.

Clothing and electronics are the most popular product groups

However, there appears to be a clear preference depending on gender. If you are a woman, chances are you spend most of your Black Friday shopping budget on clothing, while men are more likely to find their Black Friday deal in purchasing consumer electronics.

Respondents expect to make 61% of their Black Friday purchases online

This is broadly in line with the average for all surveyed countries combined – only in Germany and the UK the online spend is expected to be higher at 72%, which may be the result of a lower physical store density and the strong presence of Amazon in these countries. We expect a lower level of internet penetration in South Africa contributes to consumers expecting to spend only 43% of their Black Friday budget online. Interestingly, the share of online Black Friday spend does not vary significantly among age groups. This may be the result of Black Friday marketing being done mostly through online channels.

A large number of in-store cash registers and sufficient stock levels make for the best Black Friday customer experience

Long queues and busy stores is what most respondents dislike about Black Friday, closely followed by a lack of stock and items selling out. Dutch consumers seem less bothered by having sufficient sales staff helping them choose their best Black Friday deal.

What do you know about Black Friday?

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Stephanie Maher

Milo Hartendorf

Retail & Consumer Industry Leader, PwC Netherlands

Tel. +31 (0)88 792 51 12

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