1 in 4 consumers set to spend on Black Friday despite economic downturn

18 Nov 2022

Despite the cost-of-living crisis, interest in Black Friday has held up. PwC unveiled its annual Black Friday research which gives a glimpse of how shoppers are kicking off the festive rush for retail.

Interest has maintained from last year, with 37% of consumers interested and may buy (up 2% from 2021) and 24% of consumers stating they will definitely buy - matching 2021 levels. This is in contrast to 2020 levels where only 16% of consumers planned to purchase in the Black Friday period.

With almost half of under 35s definitely spending (48%), interest from male shoppers sits 10% higher than than females. Amongst men, 29% plan to definitely purchase with 34% interested opposed to 19% of women definitely spending and 35% interested.

Kien Tan, Retail Director at PwC comments:

“With the World Cup approaching and the first opportunity to browse high streets without pandemic restrictions in three years, it may not be a surprise that almost two-thirds of men will be shopping over the Black Friday period, with the majority of them (57%) looking for new tech or electrical products.

By comparison, female shoppers intend to spend half as much as men (£168 vs £310), and are mostly using Black Friday to get a head start on Christmas shopping, with 71% planning to buy for their family.

Meanwhile, interest in Black Friday is highest amongst under 25s: 9 out of 10 Gen Zers say they’ll be looking for a bargain, and three-quarters of them are planning to buy a treat for themselves.”

PwC estimates the average spend per consumer to be around £238 which will add £0.5billion extra to the retail economy this year taking the overall spend on Black Friday bargains to £7.5billion.

Shoppers will predominantly be shopping for electricals (51%), fashion (32%) and Christmas stocking fillers (28%). Interest in homewares (25%) and beauty (24%) have increased slightly from 2021. Shoppers are also showing a renewed interest in shopping in store for a bargain rather than online, with 19% planning to hit the high street and 12% planning to click & collect - a 2% increase in both arenas from 2021. 69% plan to shop online - a 4% decrease from 2021.

Lisa Hooker, Industry Leader for Consumer Markets at PwC comments:

“There has been a lot of commentary that shoppers are less interested in Black Friday this year, but that is not what consumers are telling us, with expected spend estimated to be £0.5bn higher than last year as people look for treats and bargains or try to spread the cost of Christmas over a longer time period.

Consumers have been closely monitoring their favourite brands in anticipation of big ticket electronics, more pricey winter wear or Christmas stocking fillers being discounted, and they’re in search of bargains more than ever given rising inflation.

Despite the consumer spending headwinds, many retailers have held their nerve this year, with the lower levels of promotional activity we saw last Autumn continuing into 2022. However, many retailers will still see Black Friday as an opportunity to engage with their customers, clear excess stock, and offer value for money, so we are expecting the usual ramp-up in sales and discounts as we approach the end of November.”


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