US to boost spend, Europe hold back amid cost-of-living crisis

Many shoppers said they plan to spend less this Black Friday as the cost of living crisis unfolds.

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Black Friday may offer a chance to shop for pre-holiday bargains, but many shoppers will expect retailers to offer more discounts this year as they tighten their belts amid the crisis. The cost of living is increasing day by day.

Shoppers in Europe plan to spend nearly a fifth less during this year’s annual sale as inflationary pressures weigh on consumer sentiment, according to the report. research from Boston Consulting Group this month.

UK consumers are expected to cut spending at the highest rate in the region, spending 18% less, while consumers in France and Germany both plan to reduce spending by 15% and Spain is 13%.

US consumers were the only one in the survey in nine countries, including Australia, to say they expected to spend more this year, increasing their spending by 6%.

Retailers under pressure

The findings come as the global economic outlook darkens, particularly in Europe, where Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has weighed on growth and sent energy prices soaring.

The UK is already in a recessionThe country’s independent Office of Budget Responsibility confirmed last week.

That is putting pressure on retailers, already struggling to recover from the Covid-19 slump, and attracting increasingly cost-conscious consumers. Meanwhile, many companies, looking to fix the shortfalls and supply problems from last year, have built up huge inventories that they are now under pressure to move.

What we have seen is a widespread Black Friday trend.

Kristy Morris

commercial solutions executive, Barclays Payments

“Black Friday is a pivotal moment in the shopping calendar for brick-and-mortar and online retailers still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and now facing consumers in many markets where plans are falling. Plan spending on a variety of non-essential items,” Jessica Distler, managing director of BCG and partners, said in the report.

That could see retailers extend discounts for the month, increasing buying opportunities for consumers with money to spend.

Increased risk of shopping scams

Transactions in the UK grew 3.8% year-on-year in the week before Black Friday, according to new data from Barclays Payments, one of the country’s top payment processors.

Kristy Morris, executive director of commerce solutions at Barclays Payments, told CNBC on Thursday that that could mean shoppers tend to shop more during the Christmas season.

“What we see is a widespread Black Friday trend,” Morris said. We’ve seen that trend spread over the week and even extend into the month.”

“Some of that revolves around the ability to bring in some of that Christmas shopping, and consumers are thinking about being more savvy about how they can spend Christmas,” she added.

Retail legend Mickey Drexler says I think Black Friday has become a cliché

However, experts have urged shoppers to exercise caution when looking to take advantage of discounts during this festive period.

John Davis, director of the UK and Ireland at cybersecurity organization Sans Institute, says that online hackers are known to “turn up the heat” during sales, especially when shoppers are under pressure. must reach an agreement.

According to research by Barclays, shopping scams increased by 34% after Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday last weekend.

“Cybercriminals are leveling up with attacks that are more common, more sophisticated and harder to detect than ever before,” he said.

Davis urged consumers to exercise extreme caution when shopping online and avoid making hasty decisions or panicking out of “fear of missing out”.

He added: “Opportunity hackers will try to create a false sense of urgency, so it’s important to be vigilant by always being aware of scams, trusting gut instincts and building security confidentiality for all of our online behavior.”

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