This year’s Black Friday was “something of a clunker,” says home delivery firm

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  • By David Jinks, head of consumer research for home delivery expert ParcelHero

“Office for National Statistics (ONS) retail sales results show an unexpected fall in the amount of goods sold in November – despite the allure of Black Friday deals. The amount of goods Brits bought in November fell by -0.4 per cent compared to October and tumbled by -5.9 per cent compared to November of last year.

“These latest figures are a particular blow as they include Black Friday’s results, which are normally a good indicator of how well Christmas is likely to go for retailers.

“Looking at the overall parcel volumes for late November we feared Black Friday had been something of a clunker, and that seems to be the case. Experts had been talking of a 0.3 per cent uplift in sales in November but that certainly didn’t happen.

“Perhaps even more concerning, even though Brits bought fewer items in November, we actually spent 0.5 per cent more than in October, and 4.2 per cent more than in November 2021. That’s the impact of galloping inflation – and also indicates there were fewer bargains around over this year’s long Black Friday period.

“The gloss has certainly been taken off Black Friday sales. There was a notably lower seasonal spike in sales this November, compared to 2021, and online sales suffered as a result. The value of goods we bought online this November collapsed by -5 per cent compared to last year, even though we actually spent 0.6 per cent more than in October – reflecting the lack of great Black Friday online discounts.

“Online sales did manage to cling to their 26.2 per cent overall share of the entire November retail spend, however. That’s been the case since May and shows that, at least, we now know the new “normal” for online shopping post-pandemic.

“The only crumb of comfort we can offer retailers is that the volume of parcels booked this week through ParcelHero has spiked significantly. We may be experiencing a late jump in online spending as shoppers brace themselves and reluctantly start last-minute Christmas shopping.”