Will this be the biggest Black Friday ever? Stores are hoping for record hauls as bargain-hunters rush for deals amid Christmas shortages fear
Desperate stores are hoping for a shot in the arm tomorrow as record numbers prepare to hunt for a Black Friday bargain.
Some 45 per cent of us intend to hit the high street or shop online for this year’s event, according to research – a big rise on the 38 per cent last year.
At the same time, 80 per cent say they expect to hand over more cash than in 2020.
Estimates on spending vary, with one study putting the figure at £9billion and another suggesting it will hit a record £12billion.
Desperate stores are hoping for a shot in the arm tomorrow as record numbers prepare to hunt for a Black Friday bargain
People have been encouraged to shop early amid warnings of shortages on the shelves in the run-up to Christmas.
This week electrical giant AO World and trade bodies confirmed problems with stock linked to long-standing difficulties with container shipments and congestion at ports.
And it was claimed yesterday that the global supply chain issues mean some Christmas tipples could ‘disappear from supermarket shelves’.
Accountancy firm EY, which conducted the survey of shoppers, said: ‘Interest in Black Friday is significantly higher than last year.
‘Reports of supply chain challenges and product shortages appear to be encouraging consumers to bring forward purchases.’
The firm’s Silvia Rindone said: ‘Our survey shows that the appetite to spend is out there.’
Insurer Direct Line is predicting spending of £12billion on a staggering 30million items on Black Friday.
It puts the number of shoppers taking part at 17million and average spending of £700. Black Friday has mainly become an online event in recent years.
Some 45 per cent of us intend to hit the high street or shop online for this year’s event, according to research – a big rise on the 38 per cent last year
However, analysts Springboard, who measure shopper numbers on the street, expect an increase of around 20 per cent tomorrow.
It comes after bosses at nearly 50 top drinks firms sounded the warning of shortages in a letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
They said that without ‘urgent action’ retailers face falling ‘deeper into delivery chaos’.
Miles Beale, chief executive of The Wine and Spirit Trade Association, which organised the letter, said: ‘We are already seeing major delays on wine and spirit delivery times which is pushing up costs and limiting the range of products available to UK consumers.’
Food industry chiefs also warned there could be a smaller range of products available.
Shane Brennan, chief of trade body the Cold Chain Federation, said shelves would not be empty but ‘all the extras’ people like indulging in at Christmas may not be on offer due to the need to ‘simplify’ supply chains.
A Government spokesman said: ‘The UK has a strong food supply chain and we do not expect any issues in ensuring Christmas drinks will be on the table.’