Expectations for a good Black Friday weekend have been high in the consumer technology, durables and homewares markets which have had a challenging 2023 so far. Sales results just released by GfK’s point-of-sale retail intelligence show Tech & Durables sales are up 1.2% versus Black Friday last year. The hero product is Air Fryers (again) with sales up 120% year-on-year.
TVs and Computing hit hardest
The traditional tech categories such as TVs and Computing have been hit the hardest this Black Friday season. Sales of TVs were down 14% year-on-year, with the only chink of light coming from models with 70”+ screens. Even this was only up 2% year-on-year. Last year’s Black Friday enjoyed a boost from the World Cup, but this market has also reached saturation point. Most people have the TVs they want or need, and with limited innovation and consumers forced to be more considered in their purchases, a new TV was low down on this year’s Black Friday wish lists.
Even attractive price cuts didn’t drive demand
This dampened performance comes despite the highest number of price cuts seen over Black Friday week in the past five years. In 2023, over 42% of products sold had a price cut of 15% or more, and in some areas it was higher. However, despite promotional activity intensifying, for most traditional tech categories, it wasn’t enough to drive consumer demand.
Kelly Whitwick, Senior Manager in GfK’s Retail Market Intelligence division says: “It’s not surprising that consumer demand in technology has dampened in 2023, with interest rate rises and the cost of living crisis exacerbated by a technology market that hasn’t seen much change in the past few years. Frankly, there is little to inspire consumers to go out and invest in new products.”
Black Friday 2023: Top growing product groups by volume sales
(versus Black Friday 2022)
Hot Air Fryers
Savvy shoppers are spending money to save money
The same is the case for the Homewares market, which saw a 6% decline compared to Black Friday 2022. Most categories were unable to match the sales of last year. Despite this, decorating had a strong week with demand for paint up 2% and wallpaper growing by 4%. Other items that enjoyed upticks were knitting, crocheting and sewing as people look for sustainable methods to keep their clothes for longer. Even Thermos flasks were hot again, with sales rising as shoppers look to save money by cutting back on takeaway coffees and tea.
Kelly Whitwick, Senior Manager in GfK’s Retail Market Intelligence division concludes: “The areas that consumers invested in this Black Friday were health, wellbeing and saving money. With so much pressure on finances right now, and very few innovative and exciting products being launched, it's not surprising that we’ve seen most categories in the technology and home categories struggle during this key sales period. Even the large number of promotions and discounts available this Black Friday hasn’t persuaded shoppers to part with their cash.”
Notes to editor
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