Black Friday brightens festive prospects for British retailers

A third (33 per cent) of senior decision makers surveyed in retail businesses are optimistic about Black Friday this year, according to a study commissioned by Royal Mail. Over half (53 per cent) of retailers are optimistic about their business’ prospects during the 2017 festive period in general.

When it comes to British businesses in general, one in five (19 per cent) senior decision makers are optimistic about their business’ prospects on Black Friday this year. This is compared to over a third (39 per cent) of decision makers who are optimistic about the Christmas period in total.

Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, said“For many retailers and consumers, Black Friday now marks the start of the Christmas shopping season. Because of this it’s great to see the level of optimism from businesses, particularly retailers, about Black Friday and the festive period in general. If businesses are well prepared for Black Friday and Christmas, they can reap the benefits of a busy but fruitful festive season.”

Over the last few years, retailers and everyone involved in their supply chain have started their planning process earlier and earlier. This year, 18 per cent say they started preparations for this festive period as soon as the 2016 one was over. A quarter (24 per cent) of retailers started to prepare for Christmas over the summer whereas almost a fifth (16 per cent) only started focusing on the festive period this autumn.

Almost one in five (18 per cent) senior decision makers expect their business to be busier this Christmas than they were last year. For retailers this is much higher than you would expect with 34 per cent expecting Christmas 2017 to be busier than last year. The general mood is buoyant though and despite the current drop in consumer confidence, only 13 per cent of retailers expect to be less busy than last year over the upcoming festive period.