British shoppers are already preparing for Black Friday, the American-exported discounting day that has come to mark the start of Christmas shopping in the UK.
Retailers have mixed views about the benefits of Black Friday, but a survey conducted by the UK’s biggest online watch store, Watch Shop, suggests that ignoring the demand from bargain hunters is a high risk decision.
The online survey, which was completed by 2000 people, found that 40% of respondents had already saved a Black Friday pot of money in preparation.
News reports from previous years have highlighted feral shoppers battling over flat screen TVs, which might explain why the majority of people responding to the Watch Shop survey are hoping to benefit from online deals.
Almost three-quarters of shoppers (72%) say they will only shop online during this year’s Black Friday. Only 11% say they will visit high street stores.
For retailers that do intend to hold in-store or online promotions, the survey suggests they need to promote it heavily and be prepared to be ready to trade early so that people can shop outside of office hours. Brits said they will arrive at stores by 8.45am to grab the best bargains, but will start shopping online even earlier at 8.20am.