More than a fifth of consumers plan to snap up Black Friday deals this year, which is only a marginal increase on last year.

Research carried out exclusively for Retail Week by Retail Economics shows 21% of consumers are planning to make a purchase on Black Friday, compared to 19% last year.

Of that 21%, 12% said that they planned to spend more than they did on the same day a year ago. 

Among the consumers who registered an interest in the discounting event, electricals, fashion and toys emerged as the most popular categories from which they intend to make purchases.

There was also a sharp increase in health and beauty, with 12% of shoppers saying they were likely to buy items in this category, up from just 2% last year.

The slight uptick in consumer demand for Black Friday deals contrasts with the attitude of many retailers to the discounting bonanza.

Retail Economics chief executive Richard Lim said: “Black Friday has undoubtedly evolved in recent years with retailers executing much more considered strategies. The trade-off between deep and widespread discounts to drive footfall and online traffic, at the expense of profit margins, has been reassessed in favour of profitability.

“In fact, some retailers are opting to circumvent Black Friday all together. After all, retailers prefer incremental spend that’s distributed across the entire Christmas season than discounted sales pulled forward at the expense of future demand.”

Nearly a quarter of the consumers who said they plan to buy on Black Friday expect to do some of their Christmas shopping during the event, giving credence to retailers’ fears for future demand over the festive quarter.

There is a clear split between younger and older consumers’ interest in Black Friday. Of the 18-24 year-olds surveyed, 39% said they planned on partaking in Black Friday. But just 10% of 55-64 year-olds said the same.

Despite the heightened interest from some consumers, many believe the deals are not worth the hype. Almost half of the respondents (43%) said they believed offers would not be as good as they were last year.

Retail Week is having its very own Black Friday. We’ve rolled back the price on retailer tickets for Retail Week Live to the launch rate of £999 if you book between Thursday 22 and Tuesday 27 November. Book here.