19 Dec 2019
With the impact of the discounting day itself yet to be fully revealed, retailers are being urged to think about their bottom lines as they gear up to entice shoppers with discounts in the last minute Christmas rush.
Phil Mullis, Partner and Head of Retail and Wholesale at one of the UK’s leading business advisory firms, Wilkins Kennedy, said: “The Christmas season is still all to play for and retailers needs to strike the right balance on their price points so that it’s enough to entice shoppers through the door, but not to the detriment to the bottom lines.
“Some analysts have pointed out that one in five shoppers used Black Friday to buy Christmas gifts – instead opting to purchase discounted items for themselves – but we need to analyse November and December together to understand how accurate this is.
“The three month-on-three-month sales decline is undoubtedly caused by the uncertainty surrounding the election and Brexit, and now the country’s path is a lot clearer, we should start to see the economy picking up slowly over a longer period of time.
“There is still an element of uncertainty hanging over us with regards to the UK being able to negotiate a trade deal with the EU, and I don’t think we will see a significant improvement filtering through to the high street until this has been clarified.
“If actual Black Friday itself was included within the ONS’s November data then I think we would have been celebrating a stonger build-up to Christmas. It’s been proven from the latest Black Friday sales – which saw transactions up 7.2% year-on-year according to Barclay Card – that heavy discounting entices shoppers in. Retailers just need to remember that cash is king and to forecast their numbers before deciding what discounting route to go down.”
Wilkins Kennedy is part of the CogitalGroup, an international business services group focused on entrepreneurial and private companies.