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Black Friday: who’s getting involved and why?

Black Friday: who’s getting involved and why?

Over two fifths (42%) of Brits are planning to make Black Friday purchases this week


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Over two fifths (42%) of Brits are planning to make Black Friday purchases this week, and a quarter (25%) say they are intending to get involved in Cyber Monday (26 November), KPMG research reveals.

The survey, conducted by YouGov on KPMG’s behalf, reveals that a fifth of shoppers (22%) are specifically looking to buy Christmas presents during the discount bonanza, whilst 12% intend to use Cyber Monday to do the same.

The findings reinforce previous KPMG analysis which highlighted that since the UK adopted the retail event in 2013, consumer spend has notably expanded from what was once the ‘traditional’ Christmas shopping period1.

Commenting on the findings and significance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday for retailers, Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said:

“Retail performance throughout the year has been dreary to say the least, and we’ve certainly had a shaky start to the all-important ‘golden’ quarter’*. Retailers will naturally be keen to make the most of these events, and our survey would certainly suggest that consumers are gearing up for it. 

“The key to success though, is to translate any sales growth into all-important profit. But with their margins under significant pressure at the moment**, that requires retailers to both exercise exceptional cost efficiency and supreme advance planning if the likes of Black Friday are to benefit the bottom line.”

Of course Black Friday’s deep discounting does offer a key time for consumers to treat themselves, indeed 17% of respondents said that they intended to buy something for themselves, whilst a similar proportion (18%) intended to buy something for a family member.

Our findings highlight that the promotional period is favoured by younger consumers, with 75% of shoppers aged 18 to 24 saying they’ll be shopping during Black Friday, compared to just 36% of 45 to 54-year-olds, and just 24% of those over the age of 55.

Paul Martin, added: “It’s unsurprising that younger generations are most excited by retail events like Black Friday. Many shoppers are likely to recall how the slashed pricing in store resulted in stampedes, which is just not what mature consumers seek out. Since Black Friday was adopted by Brits back in 2013, retailers have increasingly moved offers online, and that coincidently is where a higher proportion of younger consumers can be found.”

The survey also asked consumers whether they intended to use credit, whether it be a store or credit card or a loan. Of those that planned to spend, nearly a quarter (24%) said they intended to use credit to fuel the purchase. 

Jon Holt, Head of Financial Services at KPMG, said:

“We have become a nation of debtors. Credit is still so easily available that many people borrow without even recognising they’re doing it; I’m regularly amazed at how people don’t consider store cards a form of credit. Black Friday plays on the excitement of spending while frictionless finance and cheap credit puts that buying buzz within everyone’s grasp.

“Our poll found that 51% of respondents didn’t even think the discounts they’re offered on Black Friday are a genuine saving! Having an economy disproportionately built on debt is not sustainable for consumers, retailers or financial services. As firms increasingly find ways to make spending even easier, they also need to put equal effort into helping people spend smarter.”



For media enquiries, please contact:

Simon Wilson, KPMG Corporate Communications

T: 020 7311 6651

M: 077853 73397



KPMG Press Office

Tel: +44 (0) 207 694 8773


Notes to Editors:

Additional reading:

1)      KPMG previously outlined that Black Friday’s occurrence encourages consumers to make their purchases earlier, distorting the traditional Christmas shopping trend. The full press release can be viewed: here

2)      The ‘golden quarter’ refers to the months October through to December. In October 2018, the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor found that retail sales increased by only 0.1% on a like-for-like basis, on last year. The full press release can be viewed: here

3)      KPMG previously highlighted that annual profit margins of UK retailers have been increasingly squeezed since Black Friday and Cyber Monday hit UK shores around 2013. The full press release can be viewed: here


About the research:

KPMG commissioned YouGov to survey over 2038 adults (online between Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th) on various questions relating to their Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping intentions.


About KPMG in the UK:

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 14,500 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.2 billion in the year ended 30 September 2017. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 154 countries and territories and has 200,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

© 2020 KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative, a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”) is a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.

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