Seniors and Black Friday

Black Friday originated in the United States in 1951 and arrived in France in 2014. According to Wikipedia, it is “a one-day shopping event that takes place on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This Friday traditionally marks the kick-off of the holiday shopping season. Initially this was only done in shops in the USA.

Where does the term “Black Friday” come from? In the United States, in the 1950s, retailers kept their accounts separate, with the deficit accounts in red and the profit accounts in black. At that time, the accounts were usually in deficit and therefore in red, but on the Friday after Thanksgiving the accounts were marked in black, which partly explains the use of Black Friday. In 2019, according to information from the Cartes Bancaires group, 56 million card transactions were recorded throughout France on this occasion.

According to a study by OpinionWay and Bonial online in November 2022 on “the French and shopping during Black Friday”, senior citizens are the least likely to make purchases during Black Friday. More than one in two people over 50 years old declare that they will not make any purchases during Black Friday and one in three people do not yet know what they plan to do.

Of those who say they will shop on Black Friday, 43% of the over-50s plan to shop “online and in-store” and 46% “exclusively online”. For the 34-49 year olds, one person in two plans to shop “on the internet and in shop”.

Which communication channels are preferred for information about Black Friday?

The preference for Black Friday information channels varies greatly according to age. In fact, unlike younger people, 60% of the over 50s prefer to be informed by email about Black Friday prices and promotional offers, which represents a difference of +13 points compared to the 35-49s and +27 points compared to the under 35s. A majority of over-50s do not want to receive Black Friday information via social networks, while one in three under-35s prefer this communication channel.

What types of purchases will they make?

Regardless of age, the first product category purchased is ready-to-wear, with one person in three saying they do so. Beyond that, however, there are significant differences in the categories according to age. For the over-50s, cultural products come second and household appliances third with 23% and 22% of purchase intentions respectively. For the under-35s, toys and for the 35-49s, household appliances come second. Black Friday is also more of an opportunity to buy Christmas presents for the under 49s.

In contrast to the youngest age group, the oldest will think less about buying jewellery (3% vs. 17%) and the youngest will give less priority to DIY products (6% vs. 13%).

The most significant difference between the younger generations and the older ones concerns sound (headphones, speakers, etc.). Indeed, 3% of the over 50s plan to buy products in this category, compared to 17% of the under 35s.

What budget do they plan to allocate to their purchases during Black Friday?

The over-50s are the ones who spend the most during Black Friday. Indeed, 31% of them say they want to spend more than €500, while only 22% of the under 35s and 18% of the 35-49s plan to spend such an amount. More than 60% of under 50s plan to spend less than £299, while only 48% of over 50s do so.

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