Video | Friday, 23rd November 2018

Black Friday: How consumer behaviour is shaping retail sales

Dr Amna Khan explains the significance of Black Friday in the UK’s retail sector

Today (November 23) marks Black Friday - an annual event which is well known as a day of bargains and sales from major retailers across the UK.

Dr Amna Khan, Senior Lecturer in Consumer Behaviour and Retailing at Manchester Metropolitan’s Business School, explains how retailers approach Black Friday and how the day has been shaped by the behaviour of the country’s shoppers.


Speaking about the difference between the traditional Black Friday period in the USA and the more recent phenomenon in the UK, Dr Khan said: “In the USA, Black Friday comes during the national holiday period for Thanksgiving so we see a lot of consumers heading into stores with the sales attracting huge crowds.

“In contrast, UK consumers will do a lot of their shopping online and that is simply because we don’t have a national holiday. It’s for this reason that retailers have targeted their offers and sales online and targeted their advertising and influence in this area.”

The retailers’ approach to Black Friday

For many UK retailers, Black Friday comes only a short time before the traditional January sales period.

Dr Khan said: “Some retailers such as Marks and Spencer have actively stated that they do not want to get involved but for the retailers that do use Black Friday it is an important period with Christmas just around the corner, meaning consumers are ready to spend.

“With this in mind it is easy to see why Black Friday has become a key and strategic part of the retail calendar.”

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