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    Bloated Black Friday sales have lost their way

    Shoppers in York make the most of Black Friday in York. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

    An entire month of Black Friday sales has devalued the event and left shoppers confused, says ParcelHero, and warns of a 20% drop in sales this year

    Home delivery specialist ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says: ‘Black Friday is in danger of becoming a bloated, overlong, anticlimax. In the 2010s it was a genuinely exciting shopping event, pioneered here in the UK by Amazon and really taking off after being adopted by the likes of Asda in 2014. Bargain hunters even brawled in the aisles over the latest deals. That all seems a long time ago.

    “We’ve been analysing the latest predictions from many consumer and retail organisations, and the picture for Black Friday looks black,” said Jinks. “Only 16 per cent of UK shoppers say they will ‘definitely buy’ anything at all during the Black Holiday sales this year, versus 24 per cent last year, according to the accounting specialist PwC. That’s a far cry from the event’s heyday when everyone seemed to be glued to their PCs and devices.

    “Why has there been this collapse in interest? First, Black Friday offers began to stretch over the following weekend, joining up with Cyber Monday. Then they began to sprawl over the preceding week. Now we are facing ‘Black November’, an entire month of so-called deals. However, with retailers having to stretch their loss-leading bargains over longer periods, the flash sale has become a fizzle.

    “Our latest analysis reveals that shoppers are likely to cut spending by at least 20 per cent as they lose the impetus of a single day of genuine bargains. This mirrors research from the consumer finance site Finder, which claims Black Friday spending is expected to drop by £900 million over the Black Friday weekend, down 23 per cent from a planned spend of £3.9 billion in 2022. Even for those who do plan to take part, the average spend per person on Black Friday 2023 is predicted to be £113, that’s 40 per cent less than in 2022 and 59 per cent less than in 2021.

    “Of course, many shoppers also have a nagging doubt that many so-called bargains are anything but bargains. There’s no wonder, as the consumer organisation Which? reports, that only two per cent of products in the 2022 Black Friday sales were genuinely cheaper than at other times of the year. According to Which?, 98 per cent of sale items were the same price or less and 45 per cent were cheaper at other times of the year.”

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