How retailers turn the screw with Black Friday-style sales

Black Friday at Tesco Extra in Sheffield
Black Friday at Tesco Extra in Sheffield
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NEARLY one in four Britons feels under pressure to over-spend this Christmas, with shopping bonanzas such as Black Friday as well as children being among the main causes, a charity has warned.

Research for the Money Advice Trust’s National Debtline, which is published today, found that 23 per cent of British adults feel under pressure to spend more than they had planned during the festive season.

Many are at risk of falling into difficulty in the new year

Chief executive of the Money Advice Trust Joanna Elson

Across the survey of more than 2,000 people, one in 14 of people said their children are a source of pressure to spend more than they had intended.

Black Friday and similar shopping days were cited as a source of strain by six per cent of those questioned, with the same proportion also saying that stores’ “special offers” make them feel under pressure to spend more.

One in 25 of the respondents said that other relatives make them feel under pressure to blow their budget. The same proportion of people also blamed their spouse, or Christmas being depicted on television or in films, for putting them under pressure to part with more of their cash.

The chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, Joanna Elson, said: “The number of us putting Christmas on credit is rising, and while most households will be able to pay this extra borrowing off, many are at risk of falling into difficulty in the new year.

“The fact that so many people are feeling under pressure to spend more than they originally planned shows what a difficult time of year this can be. With underlying borrowing having risen sharply over the last year, we are concerned that this extra Christmas spending will be the last straw for many household budgets.”

The survey also suggested that people may be borrowing more this year than in 2014 to get through Christmas. In this year’s research, 35 per cent of people had already borrowed money or planned to borrow it to pay for Christmas gifts this year, compared with 34 per cent who said this when similar research was carried out last year.

Meanwhile, 23 per cent of people plan to borrow money to pay for Christmas food, compared with 21 per cent last year.

The charity said that last Christmas, the number of calls to its National Debtline jumped by 61 per cent after the holiday as households tried to come to grips with their extra borrowing.