British retailers took
£114bn in the whole of 2015, up 11% on the year before. A whopping 21%
(£24bn) of that spend took place over Christmas, with £4.3bn spent on
Black Friday weekend.
An American phenomenon, Black Friday was virtually non-existent in
the United Kingdom in 2012. It’s the first Friday after November’s
Thanksgiving and unofficially marks the start of the Christmas shopping
Since 2013 Black Friday sales revenue has grown at least 20% year on
year. In comparison the UK’s online shopping spend has been growing at a
steady 11% for several years and looks to match that trend this year.
With the current growth trends in mind, gadget insurance company Row.co.uk
estimates that UK Black Friday sales will represent 47% of annual
online sales by 2020. In pounds, that’s an eye-watering £81.1bn to be
spent on one day alone. Annual online sales at the same point in time
could be as high as £172.9bn.
Online retail giant Amazon said in 2015 that it sold more than 7.4
million items at a rate of around 86 items per second. The vast majority
of purchases are for electronics and gadgets, mainly TVs, tablets,
laptops and mobile phones.
With the British Black Friday spend now in the billions, it is
officially the UK’s biggest shopping day and that doesn’t seem to be
changing any time soon. Experts predict that £733 million was spent on
Manic Monday in 2015, the first Monday in December, followed by £728
million on Christmas Day, £856 million on Boxing Day and £638 million on
New Year’s Day.
“Several million mobile
phones were purchased last year on Black Friday, with Carphone Warehouse
alone claiming a 182% increase in handset sales”, a spokesperson for
“There’s no signs that these sales will slow down. If you do take
advantage of the great holiday savings to get your hands on the new
iPhone 7, Galaxy S7 or Xperia XZ, do consider getting mobile phone insurance from the
smaller niche insurers like Row.co.uk, rather than accepting the network’s cover which can cost up to 80% more.”
Some experts now believe that the popularity of the Black Friday
shopping weekend will phase out the traditional Boxing Day sales events.