Wunderman Thompson Commerce talk to CNBC as Black Friday breaks pessimistic predictions.

Hugh Fletcher 2

Hosted by Joumanna Bercetche and Arabile Gumede, the conversation kicked off with Adobe’s research which found that over $9bn has been spent this year over the Black Friday weekend. However, consumers globally remain cautious this year due to rising inflation, economic uncertainty and the cost-of-living.

The conversation initially focused on how consumers have been frugal and kept aside budget for Black Friday to purchase gifts for their loved ones, with Hugh Fletcher, Global Marketing Director and Thought Leadership lead, pointing out,

“We must take these stats with a pinch of salt. While the initial data coming out shows positive sales during Black Friday, we have to be cautious about the overall feel for Q4. Consumers will concentrate purchasing on gifts for loved ones now but we’ll have to wait and see whether that will continue for the rest of the year and beyond.”

“The financial situation means there is an increased level of research from shoppers and a need to be savvier this year. What’s more, concerns around the validity of discounts and deals continues to be an issue, although retailers can use this to their advantage, be more transparent than ever, and in turn build long-term trust with shoppers,” continued Fletcher.

It will be crucial this year to protect the bottom line also, as retailers look to navigate the challenging economic uncertainty. The presenters and Hugh discussed the potential of heavy discounting long into early next year, “based on a large amount of inventory that retailers will be wanting to shift into 2023.”

With the World Cup coinciding with Black Friday for the first time, the discussion then turned to whether the football has contributed to the rising footfall on the high street – a welcome boost with people keen to go out, meet friends and enjoy the match in a bar or pub.

Finally, the presenters suggested a blurring of lines between Black Friday and Cyber Monday with Hugh concluding: “The division between the two has ended. We are seeing fantastic online deals as early as November 1st and retailers have realised they need a large share of wallet, therefore they are kickstarting deals much sooner in the year. Historically, Cyber Monday was all about online shopping but now we’re seeing spending across the entire Black Friday peak.”

Hugh Fletcher 1

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