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UK's Black Friday here to stay as Britons remain bargain hunters - Hammerson

Published
Nov 26, 2018
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The debate over how good Black Friday is or isn’t for the UK retail sector continues to rage, but it seems that the event is here to stay with research from shopping malls giant Hammerson showing that UK shoppers remain bargain-focused.


Physical shops remain highly appealing to bargain-focused Britons



It said that Britons identify most strongly as ‘Bargain Shoppers’, who typically wait for the best deal before buying. Additionally, successful bargain-hunting plays a major role in the “most enjoyable” shopping trips.

The shopping centres giant (it owns destinations including the Bullring & Grand Central in Birmingham, and Brent Cross in London) didn’t say how many people it spoke to in order to arrive at the figures, but said UK consumers are committed to bargain-hunting both offline and online with 40% of consumers in the UK saying that they're always looking for the best deal and seeking out offers.

The second largest group Britons identify with came some way behind with 'Researchers' selected by just 18% of respondents. These people spend time exploring different products and reviews before buying. And it has to be said that there's an element of bargain-hunting in being a Researcher as well, as such consumers seek the best price and often hold out until the last moment when the price has dropped.

WAITING FOR PRICES TO FALL

In a further sign that events such as Black Friday can be both good and bad for retail, it seems that most consumers delay purchases until promotional events. In the dominant Bargain-Shoppers group, a huge 88% said they tend to wait for the best deal before buying. Reflecting this promotional mind-set, bargains play a key role in shaping their shopping experiences and consumers link the judgement of how good or bad a shopping trip was to whether they bagged ‘a great bargain’ (46%).

And this also means UK shoppers are far more likely to regret a missed purchase (52%) than a purchase they’ve made (36%).

But while price is clearly a driving force and many are going online because of this, if people only had to shop one way, 66% of the UK’s shoppers (and 69% of ‘bargain shoppers’) said they would choose physical stores over online. Hammerson also said that 72% of people’s most enjoyable shopping experiences have been in physical stores, 49% of those at a shopping centre, and 42% on a high street.

And another insight from the study tends to support the efforts retail landlords have made in recent years to balance the mix of their tenants across pure product and leisure services.

When shopping, only 23% of consumers said that they typically ‘just shop’, as most incorporate additional activities such as dining, drinking, or visiting the cinema, “indicating that retailers’ product pricing is only one element in delivering a compelling experience,” Hammerson said.

FASHION AND BEAUTY

The study also showed that people prefer to buy specific categories in-store or online and physical shops still have huge appeal for fashion and beauty buys. Some 76% of people prefer to buy health & beauty products in-store, and 66% favour physical stores for shopping the latest fashion, while 72% prefer to purchase footwear in person.  

Mark Bourgeois, Hammerson’s UK & Ireland MD, said: “2018 has seen significant discounting across much of the sector, and the importance that today’s consumers place on getting a good deal is evident; however, pricing is clearly only one aspect of a compelling retail offer, and this is reflected in many retailers focusing more acutely on experiential retail.

“The initial Black Friday one-day frenzy, which has put off many people in the past couple of years, has evolved, and many retailers are now either spreading promotions out over several days, or taking a more responsive and selected approach to their offers. It is clear that Black Friday now signals the start of the festive shopping season for many.

“While many consumers will scroll through deals online in the coming days, the draw of the store is strong. We expect to see an uplift in click-and-collect usage as a result of Black Friday activity, which we know will drive additional sales for our retailers.”

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