Energy-efficient appliances such as air fryers, drying racks and electric blankets bucked the trend in Black Friday sales this year as consumers took a cautious approach amid the cost-of-living crisis.
According to analysts GfK, this year’s Black Friday was the weakest result in five years for the technology and durable goods sectors, with the total market down 2.1% and online sales down 3.8%.
However, consumers looking to cut their energy bills helped boost air fryer sales by 145% in a year, one of the few positives for the retailer amid an otherwise disappointing event.
Other top-selling energy-efficient appliances include electric blankets, heated clothes racks and heated mantles.
The “low-cost update” trend – where budget-conscious homeowners add cheaper items to economically improve their living spaces – sees thermal drapes and blinds in black friday sales volume.
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Kelly Whitwick, senior manager of retail market intelligence at GfK, said: “These results confirm that consumers are being given more consideration when making a purchase.
“It’s not just the cost of living that’s worrying.
“Many people bought tech during Covid in 2020 and 2021, so there is a different level of demand to buy new products, but there is also a clear lack of innovation in the market.
“During the last recession, consumers continued to invest in the latest technology.
“With fewer product launches, there’s little or no sense of urgency to live this Black Friday.
“The only category that’s growing is telecom — the category that still offers new capabilities.”