Holiday Shopping in Europe: Black Friday and Beyond

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Holiday Shopping in Europe: Black Friday and Beyond

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While there are signs that the Black Friday frenzy may be beginning to subside in the US, interest in the shopping holiday is growing across most of Europe. In many markets, the deal-driven event has become the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season.

  • The holiday shopping period in Europe is beginning earlier each year. According to Deloitte, 30% of internet users in the region planned to make Christmas-related purchases in November or earlier. Still, the majority of Christmas spending was expected to take place in early December.
  • Consumers in the UK and the Nordic countries are some of the most avid Black Friday buyers. Meanwhile, adoption is rising rapidly in France, as people become accustomed to the idea of shopping for discounts outside of the legally designated summer and winter sales periods.
  • Even though Thanksgiving is not a public holiday in Europe, many consumers still head to brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday to shop. Physical store sales on Black Friday 2017 were expected to be at least four times higher than ecommerce sales in every market measured by RetailMeNot and the Centre for Retail Research, except the UK.
  • Black Friday shopping in Europe isn’t only about Christmas gifts. In fact, consumers in most countries also take advantage of discounts for themselves. The most popular types of products purchased on Black Friday—and during the full holiday shopping period—include apparel, consumer electronics and toys/games.
  • Digital is the fastest-growing Black Friday sales channel in the region, and it’s likely that some of that shopping also takes place on cross-border ecommerce platforms. PayPal and Kantar Millward Brown found that close to half of internet users in Europe planned to make a cross-border digital purchase at some point during the 2017 holiday season.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report examines the adoption of Black Friday among both consumers and retailers in major markets in Europe. It also provides a more holistic picture of the holiday shopping season in those countries, including other important shopping days, products purchased and purchase channels.

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