LONDON — There may not be a Thanksgiving or a long weekend this side of the Atlantic, but that doesn’t stop Europeans from flocking to the online shopping and sales streets in search of bargains.
Black Friday started popping up in Europe years ago, with one-day sales centered on electronics and home appliances. These days, companies consider it one of the biggest days of the retail calendar, with sweeping discounts on clothing, food, theater tickets, holiday travel packages, and the like. Sales in Britain often run throughout the month of November, as people react to the discounts by pushing their holiday shopping forward.
However, this holiday season for European companies—usually a big chunk of annual revenue—could be lower than usual. With rising energy costs, mortgage payments, and retail prices, consumers have less money to spend on holiday gifts. Many imported goods have become more expensive due to the weakening of the pound and the euro relative to the dollar.
These pressures may cause shoppers to focus on their purchases on Friday. Jessica Distler is partner and managing director of the Boston Consulting Group in Berlin and author A recent report on Black Fridaysaid economic concerns are likely to drive European consumers to shop more on Black Friday for the best deals.
“There’s more focus on promotions because you have that anxiety and you have less budget to spend,” she said.
European consumers said their spending will fall this year compared to last year, according to the Boston Consulting Group A survey of more than 7,000 consumers In Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Britain. The survey, of more than 2,000 consumers in Australia and the United States, found that only American consumers said they planned to spend more than last year.
The survey found that consumers in Britain said they expected to spend 18 per cent less on holiday shopping than last year, as they cut back on non-essential items due to higher prices.
Even with its growing popularity, Tom Holder, a spokesman for the British Retail Confederation, the trade association for British retailers, said that Black Friday shopping in Europe lacks the same frantic energy as in the United States.
“There’s never been this kind of American style, we’re slamming doors and everybody’s moving,” Holder said. Some stores might have been able to get that, but it wasn’t like, ‘Let’s go totally crazy, write something. “
In Britain the annual inflation rate It topped 11 percent in OctoberThere are already signs that this holiday season may be disappointing for retailers. Retail sales volumes (excluding motor fuels) fell 6.7 percent last month, compared to October last year, according to A report published last week by Britain’s Office for National Statistics.
Black Friday comes as companies in Europe are also experiencing staff shortages and have had to raise wages to attract staff. Three-quarters of British firms experienced a labor shortage last year. According to a survey of 325 companies published last month by the Confederation of British Industry, a trade association. The study found that nearly half of the affected companies are unable to fulfill customer orders.
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