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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.


Black Friday is upon us again. It’s one of the biggest shopping events of the year, although there are mixed signals about how successful it is likely to be in 2021. One recent study found that only a third of consumers plan to take part. The financial strain of COVID-19 is still evident, and inflation running at its highest level in a decade.

All the same, consumer confidence has been rising. According to GlobalData, shoppers are set to spend nearly £9.2 billion in the four days from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. This would still be a big increase on the £8 billion spent in 2020, and also the £8.6 billion in 2019.

Whether or not Black Friday ends up meeting retailers’ expectations, it comes with a major problem: a huge proportion of the shopping will be happening online. Black Friday orders online rocketed during the COVID lockdowns of 2020, and are forecast to rise sharply again this year – GlobalData forecasts this will comprise almost two-thirds of all sales, compared to only 44% in 2019. This shift is bad news for the environment – and it will exacerbate the problems that the supply chain has been experiencing in recent months.