Savvy’s BBC shopper research: Shoppers immune to Boxing Day sales fever

On Boxing Day Savvy released the results of its latest research looking at the changing pattern of buying behaviour during the Sales, especially focusing on the January Sales.

The research, commissioned by BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme, was featured across the BBC radio and TV network including BBC Breakfast, Radio 4, Radio 5 Live and the BBC News Channel.

Coverage of the findings of the research can be found on the BBC News website, however here we provide a summary of results.

The research suggested that the traditional UK Boxing Day sales would suffer owing to spending on Black Friday and the squeeze on incomes. The majority of shoppers (56%) who took part in the survey said that Boxing Day sales have lost their appeal. Only a handful said they planned to get up early for a sales bargain, while some 37% of people surveyed expected to spend less this Boxing Day owing to spending on Black Friday.

Catherine Shuttleworth, CEO and Founder of Savvy Marketing, said: “The data shows that people spent more money this Black Friday than last year and people can’t spend that money twice, so the Boxing Day sales will suffer. “Shoppers expect things to be discounted because times are tough and family spending isn’t as flexible as it has been.”

She added that retailers needed to get as many people into their shops as possible. “If there aren’t any deals, shoppers will go elsewhere, so sales are like a drug which retailers can’t get off”.

Despite this apparent addiction to discounting, 62% of people surveyed thought that constant sales devalued the brand of a shop.


  • 56% of people surveyed said the Boxing Day sales have lost their appeal. They’ve been overshadowed by other sales which run through the year, the most significant one being Black Friday.
  • 37% of shoppers expect they will spend less in the Boxing Day Sales as a result of their spending on Black Friday and 42% believe Black Friday is now a bigger event than the Boxing Day Sales
  • Only 1% of people surveyed said they’d get up early on Boxing Day to get the best bargains.
  • Black Friday Sales are growing in the UK. Four out of 10 people we surveyed made a purchase in the Black Friday sales this year – last year it was three out of 10
  • 73% of people made their Black Friday purchase exclusively on line.
  • Generational differences: 59% of 18 – 24 year olds and 57% of 25 – 34 year old bought something on Black Friday compared with 25% of 65 – 74 year olds.
  • 83% of people agree retailers seem to have sales running for a lot of the year.
  • 62% of people surveyed think that constant sales devalue the brand of a shop.


The survey of more than 1,000 shoppers was conducted week commencing Monday 27th Nov.