Black Friday spending expected to drop by a fifth to £4.8 billion 

by | Oct 30, 2021

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Brits to spend an average of £275 per person this year, 7% less than last year

Participation also set to drop for the third year in a row, down to a third of Brits (33%)

Over half of shoppers (56%) plan to buy something in-store


Across the UK, British shoppers are expected to spend an estimated £4.8 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, according to annual research from shopping comparison site,

This is a decrease of £1.2 billion from 2020’s estimated figure of £6 billion, with the average spend by those taking part this year also dropping by £21 (7%) to £275 from last year’s £296. In 2019, the figure was £251 and in 2018, it was £235.


Participation in the sales weekend is also set to decrease for the third year in a row. This year, just 17 million Brits (33%) will spend during the sales, a 15% decrease from 2020, when 20.3 million people (39%) planned to take part, and a 22% drop from 2019, when 22.1 million (42%) shopped the sales.

Where will purchases be made?

While last year’s lockdown meant consumers became more familiar with online shopping, the re-opening of shops in 2021 has seen shoppers return to the pre-pandemic pastime of in-person shopping.


The research suggests that this year, 84% of Black Friday shoppers will make some purchases online, down from the 94% who planned to do so last year, while over half (56%) will do some shopping in-store, up from a third (34%) in 2020. This includes 15% of shoppers who plan to buy all their items in stores, a significant increase from last year’s 6%.

Are Black Friday sales starting earlier each year?

An analysis on Google Trends data shows that search interest in ‘Black Friday’ sales is starting earlier each year with 2021’s event expected to start 12 weeks before. This could indicate that retailers have been kicking off their Black Friday sale events earlier in a bid to entice early bird consumers.


The full study can be viewed and linked to here.

Liz Edwards, editor-in-chief at personal finance comparison site, comments on the analysis:

Last year saw a new wave of consumers discover online shopping and use it for their Black Friday and Christmas purchases (as well as the odd pack of toilet roll). For many, the shift to online was born out of necessity, due to lockdowns.  


“The vaccine rollout and easing of restrictions has since encouraged a steady return to pre-pandemic life for consumers. Since lockdown officially ended in July, Brits have been more willing to socialise and return to the office, meaning more spent on commutes and non-essentials. These extra expenses could indicate why some Brits are less willing to spend during this year’s Black Friday sales. While we may see a significant increase in high street footfall during the Black Friday weekend, the amount that Brits plan to spend could be the first indicator of a potential decline in overall revenue for retailers.


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