‘No-spend November’ – the challenge which sees shoppers take a month’s break from buying all non-essential items – first grabbed the headlines back in 2019 and it’s back with a vengeance this year.
Faced with higher mortgages, heating bills and shop prices, Brits are set to reduce their spending by around £1bn compared to last November. Predictions are that UK sales will fall from November 2021’s £4.8bn to £3.84bn this year. That’s despite the temptations of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The home delivery expert ParcelHero says No-spend November is just one part of a widespread slashing of our overall Christmas budgets. Brits will spend £4bn less on food, gifts and entertaining over the entire Christmas season, as people face unprecedented household bills and soaring inflation.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., said, ‘No-spend November, the consumer movement which saw shoppers cut spending on everything except essentials, first gained popularity three years ago. Just as people try to lose a little weight before the holidays, some shoppers believe that saving a little money on the run-up to Christmas makes a lot of sense.
‘We’ve already seen a taste of this new thriftiness. Last month’s second Prime Day event of the year was extremely sub-Prime. The “Prime Early Access Sale”, as Amazon dubbed it, supposedly gave Prime members early access to Christmas bargain prices. However, shoppers were underwhelmed. The event saw the average spend drop from around £52 for July’s first Prime Day of the year, to less than £40 in October. A hefty 26% of shoppers said they had passed on good deals because the item wasn’t a necessity. Worldwide, Amazon brought in $5.7 billion in revenue from the Prime Early Access Sale, down from $7.5 billion in this year’s first Prime event.
‘This trend is set to continue over Black Friday/Cyber Monday. It’s likely overall spending on 25 November, Black Friday itself, will fall by around 15% to £1.7bn. And shoppers are also being far thriftier on the long lead into Black Friday. If spending matches Amazon’s most recent Prime sale results, big ticket items such as computers and consoles are unlikely to shift in significant numbers, though lower cost items could still do well. Around 57% of items sold in the most recent Prime event cost £20 or less, according to ParcelHero’s analysis.
‘Similarly, retailers may not be able to offer juicy discounts to tempt shoppers into breaking their No-Spend November resolutions. Many traders were ordering their Christmas stock just as the previous Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, launched his now-notorious “KamiKwazi” mini-budget, prompting the pound to plummet against the dollar, the euro and the yen. Therefore, retailers paid significantly more for goods from the US, Europe and Japan than they did in 2021. Consequently, they now have less wiggle room for juicy Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts to tempt shoppers.
‘Black November, as this month is sometimes called, was already on the decline even before this year’s financial crisis. From a height of around £6bn in 2020, spending fell to £4.85bn in 2021, according to Finder.com. ParcelHero believes a further fall of 20% or more is likely this time around.
‘However, we do believe there may be some good reasons for shoppers who see a genuine bargain on Black Friday to give themselves a free pass from No-spend November. Keeping the budget under control this month is eminently sensible, but not taking advantage of an authentic bargain could be overzealous.
‘One small piece of good financial news this year, however, is that people looking to send a parcel overseas this Christmas can save as much as 60%, by taking advantage of currently competitive international delivery rates.’