One of the U.K.'s latest North American imports, Black Friday, could mean dark days are ahead in December for non-food retailers, according to Big Four consultancy KPMG.
The absence of a Thanksgiving Weekend for occasion and a close proximity to the Christmas holiday season both mean that traditional December sales are at risk of being "cannibalized" by the offering of cut-priced goods in the shops at the end of November.
After initially gaining traction as an idea in 2013, the Friday-to-Monday period that has now become known as 'Black Friday weekend' saw non-food stores in the U.K. draw in a record £3.3 billion ($3.75 billion) last year. Trading on the Friday itself totalled £1.1 billion, KPMG said.
"As the shopping event has become more prevalent across the UK, it is clear that the traditional Christmas shopping period has been distorted by an extended trading period that now starts earlier than it used to," said Paul Martin, head of U.K. retail at KPMG.
KPMG's analysis of official sales figures for the November-through-December period of 2015 showed that an estimated 2.6% of all consumer spending shifted from December to November when figures were compared with those of 2013.
Despite this, shoppers are forecast to spend a whopping 19% more than they did last year this Black Friday, with sales seen at £1.9 billion - according to research carried out by CRR Study and YouGov.
Although the idea of Black Friday shopping gained traction rapidly among many consumers in the U.K. after 2013, opinions on the subject have been mixed among companies.