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One of the few chinks of light in an otherwise disappointing Black Friday event was the small domestic appliances (SDA) category where sales were flat compared to last year. The runaway success of Hot Air Fryers - with sales up 145% year-on-year - prevented the SDA category declining like others including Consumer Electronics, Major Domestic Appliances, IT, Photo, Office and Stationery.
Saving money on the rising cost of utilities was clearly top of mind for many shoppers this Black Friday. Other top-selling energy efficient appliances in demand during November’s big promotional event include electric blankets, heated clothes airers and heated throws. In Homewares, thermal curtains and blinds also proved popular. This is part of a trend GfK calls ‘Low Cost Refresh’ where budget-conscious homeowners add a fresh lick of paint, a throw, a new vase or bowl and a couple of scented candles to reinvent their living space without breaking the bank.
The losses in the CE category were driven by price drops for TVs of all screen sizes. Sales fell by 16% in value and 7% in volume year-on-year.
With sales value up 10.9% compared to Black Friday in 2021, the telecoms category was the only one to experience growth this year, although unit sales fell -2.9%. This underlines the importance of innovation in driving demand.
Kelly Whitwick, Senior Manager, Retail Market Intelligence at GfK explains: “These results confirm that consumers are being much more considered in their purchases. It’s not just the cost of living that is a concern. Many people bought technology goods during the Covid periods of 2020 and 2021, so there isn’t the same level of need to buy new items, but there’s also a distinct lack of innovation in the market. In the last recession, consumers continued to invest in the latest technology. With fewer product launches, there’s little or no urgency to spend this Black Friday. The only category to enjoy growth was telecoms – one where new features are still on offer.”
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