- Black Friday blowout: Shoppers set to splurge £2.31 million per minute on Black Friday alone, a 19 per cent increase on 2015 sales
- High street hordes versus online eagles: 37 per cent of shoppers set to hunt for bargains online, while 63 per cent of shoppers are set to pound the pavements
- co.uk customers saved around £358,000 on Black Friday in 2015
- Computer games, clothes, gadgets and booze amongst top items Brits are hoping to bag a bargain on this Black Friday
New research from VoucherCodes.co.uk, part of RetailMeNot, and the Centre for Retail Research reveals that Brits will be spending an impressive £1.96 billion on Black Friday this year, up 19 per cent on last year and equating to a massive £2,313,760per minute. Falling on Friday 25th November, Black Friday kicks off a four-day sales weekend for 14 million shoppers in Britain – with UK sales accounting for 60 per cent of total Black Friday expenditure across Europe this year.
Big ticket spending online
Black Friday deals are no longer confined to high street shoppers, despite traditionally being hailed as an in-store savings day. The report reveals that 37 per cent of Brits will be logging on from the comfort of their homes this year to avoid the crowds and bag the best bargains online. Online spend for Black Friday this year is expected to reach a massive £1 billion, up 16 per cent from 2015 (£853m). In contrast, the majority of Brits (63 per cent) will still be shopping on the high street, but spending a lower total of £961m – suggesting that Brits prefer to make those big ticket purchases online versus in-store.
The report also highlights the continued rise in popularity for mCommerce amongst British consumers, this year a massive 59 per cent of Black Friday’s online sales are set to be made via a mobile device – accounting for £591 million of the total spend on 25th November.
Timing is everything
Brits are known for braving early starts in aid of bagging themselves a great deal and VoucherCodes.co.uk customers are no different. Last Black Friday, pre-work bargain hunters were behind the biggest spike in visitors to the site – with 8am proving to be the peak time for savvy shoppers hunting down the best deals over their morning cup of coffee. The data reveals that Brits are willing to get up increasingly early each year to seek out that all important deal, in 2014 website traffic spiked at 8.36am and it was a more laid-back 9.52am in 2013.
The four-day shopping bonanza from Black Friday through to Cyber Monday was one of the biggest weekends of the year for discounts on VoucherCodes.co.uk in 2015. Over the course of cyber weekend, the VoucherCodes.co.uk team addedover 7,000 offers to the site, equating to an average of 100 new deals every hour. With purchases from department stores, women’s fashion outlets, health & beauty and electronics topping the list of popular Black Friday purchases made last year, on Cyber Weekend 2015 VoucherCodes.co.uk members collectively saved a whopping £915,000 – the biggest saving made by a VoucherCodes.co.uk customer in one transaction amounted to a hefty £788. This year, VoucherCodes.co.uk predicts its members could save a massive £388,000 on Black Friday alone – up 8.5 per cent from 2015.
“The demand for Black Friday deals has gone through the roof in recent years, with savvy shoppers taking advantage of the opportunity to get a great deal on everything from toys to tech ahead of Christmas. Last year’s Black Friday was the biggest ever in the UK, British shoppers splurged a total of £1.65bn snapping-up bargains in the 24 hour period and we saw 397 per cent more visitors to VoucherCodes.co.uk on the day itself compared to the average day in 2015,” said Claire Davenport, Managing Director at VoucherCodes.co.uk, part of RetailMeNot.
“This year, whilst growth in spending is supposed to be slightly more modest compared to previous years (our research predicts a 19 per cent year-on-year increase in spending for Black Friday) the date will be a key one for shoppers and retailers alike.”
Must haves for Black Friday 2016
A separate online survey by YouGov reveals that 22 per cent of UK adults are feeling positive about the upcoming Black Friday sales, with over one third (36 per cent) of those who feel positive about Black Friday revealing it will allow them to purchase items they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford.
Categories expected to do well this year include DVDs, computer games and books, followed by clothing, footwear and accessories ahead of the festive party season.
Almost three in ten (29 per cent) of Brits shopping on Black Friday this year plan on getting a bigger ticket item on Black Friday such as a new TV, perhaps in preparation for home entertaining over the festive season – up from just 17 per cent of Brits in 2015 – and just over one in ten (13 per cent) also plan on using the discount day to stock up on tipples ahead of Christmas.
The top ten items that Brits will shop for on Black Friday 2016
- Gifts for others (64 per cent)
- DVDs, computer games and books (40 per cent)
- Clothing, footwear or accessories (37 per cent)
- Personal gadgets (29 per cent)
- Home electronics (TVs, speakers etc.) (29 per cent)
- Cosmetics or perfume (28 per cent)
- Toys (22 per cent)
- Homewares (e.g. crockery, furniture, furnishings, etc.) (22 per cent)
- Alcoholic drinks (13 per cent)
- Food (8 per cent)
“It is brilliant to see consumers making the most of the Cyber Weekend sales in the run up to Christmas and realising what incredible savings there are to be had – especially when you plan ahead and do your research! With 65 per cent of UK retailers taking part in Black Friday last year, we anticipate that number to be even higher for 2016 which means even more savings to be passed onto shoppers, helping them stay on top of their finances over the festive season.”added Claire Davenport, Managing Director at VoucherCodes.co.uk.
An unprecedented Black Friday: How can retailers prepare?
Retailers must invest heavily in their online presence and fight hard to remain competitive as a second lockdown stirs greater uncertainty
With an unprecedented Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend on the horizon (27th – 30th November), eCommerce hosting and consultancy expert, Sonassi, advises retailers to strengthen their online presence and make the necessary preparations for a fatigue in consumer spending.
James Allen-Lewis, Development Director at Sonassi, explains: “This year’s golden quarter has squeezed together three of the biggest sales periods like never before, meaning retailers will have to fight harder than usual to remain competitive this Black Friday. With greater discounts over a longer period of time, alongside the fact that a second lockdown has moved everyone and everything online, retailers will be battling it out for a share of decreasing consumer spending.
“However, this sense of uncertainty should not deter merchants from implementing their sales strategies this Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. Instead, they must go further than simply providing online discounts and tackle challenges head on by re-focusing their efforts on creating a highly competitive user experience. Successful merchants will make the necessary preparations for a change in consumer demand and invest more heavily in their eCommerce infrastructure.
“One way in which retailers can do this is by using last year’s Black Friday as a case study to inspire their future response. For example, retailers should take note of the key consumer behaviours that transpired throughout last year’s mega peak in discounting and plan accordingly for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber-Monday weekend.
“Tactics such as providing the ultimate online delivery service and secure payment methods will also be pivotal for retailers looking to survive a fatigue in online spending. Consumers will look to retailers who do not overpromise on items like next-day delivery and ensure their checkout process is safe and frictionless for all. It is the retailers who embrace this fact and meet the needs of the conscious consumer that will win their share of consumers wallets.
Allen-Lewis concludes: “With Black Friday and the build-up to Christmas just around the corner, retailers must adapt to changing consumer demand, invest more heavily in their eCommerce infrastructure and focus their efforts on creating the ultimate online experience. The only way to plan ahead amid challenging times is to listen to the needs of the customer.”
Optimistic outlook for 2021 public M&A
Optimism is returning and the outlook is positive for the Australian M&A market in 2021 after a COVID-induced crash in deal activity in 2020, according to Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s tenth M&A 2021 Outlook report.
The special report reveals that an environment of historically low interest rates positions M&A as a significant means of achieving growth and generating returns, including for private equity firms looking to deploy capital and strategic buyers focused on complementary acquisitions.
With the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, global political instability and arguably the greatest economic challenge since the Great Depression, M&A 2021 Outlook details somewhat surprising trends emerging for the next 12 months and analyses a number of common COVID-19 myths and their influence on future M&A deal making.
Corrs’ detailed examination of the Australian M&A market draws on data taken from the firm’s proprietary database of transactions combined with in-depth research for the 12-month period ending 30 September 2020.
Key trends identified in the report include a rapid escalation in M&A levels and an increase in creativity in pricing and speed in closing deals, while also highlighting the critical need for support from target shareholders. Conditions also appear to be set for a continued rise in equity prices as a result of the ongoing influx of capital into Australian equity markets, making it imperative that bidders employ strategies to move quickly on M&A transactions.
Discussing the M&A 2021 Outlook, Corrs Head of Corporate, Sandy Mak, said “Despite a challenging year, our research indicates that 2021 could well see the volume and value of deals continue to grow. We are already witnessing this uptick in activity and while some industries and sectors are seeing a faster rebound than others, early indications are that the wider public M&A market will continue to strengthen over the coming months.”
Based on its detailed research, the M&A 2021 Outlook report discusses further key findings including:
- Deal volume and value is the lowest since 2016, however volumes have shown significant recovery since June 2020.
- More than 50% of deals in 2020 were ‘hostile’ and not recommended at the outset.
- 71% of deals over A$500 million were structured by way of a takeover – a significant increase from prior years – largely as a result of increased competition for assets through rival bids.
- Despite border closures and the tightening of foreign investment regimes, the percentage of deals with foreign bidders has increased materially since April 2020.
5 steps for SMEs to budget properly for the coming year
By Fabio Comminot, Head of Dealing, Switzerland at Ebury, one of Europe’s largest Fintechs, has provided a five-step guide to make sure budgeting is done on time.
During the challenging times of COVID-19, it is difficult to forecast orders and costs. This is especially true for SMEs that operate internationally and therefore are exposed to currency fluctuations and market movements. So budgeting is immensely important.
Autumn is budget season for most companies. Upcoming project costs, sales and fixed costs must be defined or forecasted. Budget planning should be as accurate as possible right from the start of the process to avoid unexpected consequences at the end of the year..
With the effects of the COVID pandemic it has become difficult for all companies, no matter their size or history, to plan and make sales forecasts. Early planning and hedging are especially important for companies that work internationally and are therefore particularly exposed to currency risk.
These five steps will help SMEs take the right measures for the coming financial year, in time for budget season:
Step 1: Estimate your costs or sales in foreign currencies
As difficult as it may seem, every company must estimate its expected fixed and variable costs for the coming year. Most companies can forecast their revenues based on experience or existing orders.
However, start-ups or young companies should also be able to at least estimate their costs including rents, insurance, wages and production costs. Special attention should be paid to costs or revenues that are spent or received in a foreign currency.
Step 2: Profit or cost assurance – define the strategy
As soon as an approximate plan for the coming year is in place, the company should consider the importance of currency management. Regular earnings or expenditures in foreign currencies are exposed to movements in exchange rates. If costs in a foreign currency are to be forecasted until the end of the year, the company needs to minimise volatility. This means that the exchange rate should be fixed so that there are no unexpected negative consequences at the end of the year.
Another option would be to protect the operating profit. Fluctuating exchange rates can rapidly ruin intended profit margins. In this case the company could aim to define the forecasted sales in the foreign currency and fix the margin based on this.
Step 3: Fix your budget rates
The budget is set, the currency management goals are defined, the major part is done. Now it is a matter of defining the budgeted rates for the various currencies based on the current exchange rate. A buffer of about 5% can be useful when doing this – for example. instead of fixing the exchange rate from US dollar to Swiss franc at the current 91 cent, a rate of 95 cent could be budgeted. In this way, the minimum budget rate is defined and any negative exchange rate movement can be at least partially compensated for.
Step 4: Define the hedging strategy
With the targets and the budget course set, the next questions are: What currency developments can be expected? What is the industry outlook? Is the order situation relatively secure? Or is there practically no empirical data?
This step is where Ebury can support the company. Our experts in FX markets help answer these questions and begin to define the individual hedging strategy.
Step 5: Ensure a flexible fit
It’s done: the measures have been defined, now it’s time for implementation.
Ebury will implement the previous steps and , so that the company focuses on its core business. In contrast to traditional financial services providers such as banks, Ebury constantly monitors international trade and political events in order to assist clients with strategy adjustments. The Ebury team is supported by state-of-the-art technology and international currency analysts. It makes no difference whether the changes are driven by the currency market or whether the company’s order situation itself is changing. This allows the SME to focus on its operational business, which is worth a lot in uncertain times like these.
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