Black Friday figures have been hit by the cost-of-living crisis however beauty remains resilient thanks to gifting opportunities and re-purchasing
According to Global Data, people in the UK spent £8.71bn over the Black Friday weekend, a figure that has been deemed ‘okay’ by analysts. On one hand, the number is higher than expected due to the cost-of-living crisis however it still remains below pre-pandemic levels.
The same can be said for footfall. High-street insights company Springboard reports that footfall on Black Friday was 4.6% higher than last year, however the number of people visiting stores fell by 22% in comparison to 2019.
As expected e-commerce was the main source of revenue for UK retailers this year. Nationwide reports that electronic transactions were a third higher than 2019 across all categories. This trend is leading in beauty – online traffic to beauty retailers was up by 26% year-on-year and 97% higher than an average day in 2022. This increase in traffic led to a 14% increase in sales compared to last year too.
Beauty’s results made it the third-most-popular category this year, sitting just behind electronics and activewear. This is largely down to people seeking discounts for products they want to repurchase, the inexpensive luxury of buying beauty and gifting for Christmas.
A survey carried out by Klarna shows that 22% of people were buying beauty for a loved-one, whilst 26% said they were buying for themselves and gifting too. Unsurprisingly, people searching for ‘beauty gifts’ online also increased by 43% on the day.
In its run-down of the shopping event, Seen PR says: ‘Whilst Black Friday sales exceeded expectations, overall sales may not be as high over the entirety of the Christmas period as people seek discounts.’
Beauty and fashion always lead the way when it comes to loyal shoppers, and Black Friday was no different. This year, more than 50% of Black Friday orders came from fifth-time buyers of specific products and brands.
How did Black Friday in the US compare?
The NPD Group reports that total November 2022 general merchandise retail sales revenue was 8% lower than it was in 2021. What’s more, in the week spanning Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday sales revenue was 5% in the same period last year.
That said, Larissa Jensen, NPD’s beauty industry advisor says: ‘I remain optimistic about holiday for beauty, even if Black Friday felt like a letdown. Consumers showed up, though later in the day. Stores were well stocked, ready for the official kick-off of the holiday season. And I observed a lot of spending overall, which is a bright sign for beauty – the ultimate little luxury for consumers to indulge in and gift to others.’
Bringing it back to the UK with some positivity. The aftermath of Black Friday, impacts of the World Cup increasing footfall, and increased festive spending means the West End of London is back in the black after some months of falling figures. Occupiers in the city report that average sales for retail, hospitality and leisure are 6% ahead of 2019.