Energy-efficient appliances – such as air fryers, clothes airers and electric blankets – bucked a downward trend for Black Friday sales this year as consumers took a cautious approach during the cost of living crisis.
This year’s Black Friday delivered the weakest results for the technology and durables sector for five years, with the total market down 2.1% and online sales by value falling 3.8%, according to analysts GfK.
However, consumers seeking to cut energy bills sent sales of air fryers up 145% in a year in one of the few positives in an otherwise disappointing event for retailers.
Other top-selling energy-efficient appliances included electric blankets, heated clothes airers and heated throws.
The “low-cost refresh” trend – where budget-conscious homeowners add cheaper items to economically improve their living space – saw that thermal curtains and blinds were also popular items during the Black Friday sales.
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Kelly Whitwick, senior manager of retail market intelligence at GfK, said: “These results confirm that consumers are being much more considered in their purchases.
“It’s not just the cost of living that is a concern.
“Many people bought technology goods during the Covid periods of 2020 and 2021, so there isn’t the same level of need to buy new items, but there’s also a distinct lack of innovation in the market.
“In the last recession, consumers continued to invest in the latest technology.
“With fewer product launches, there’s little or no urgency to spend this Black Friday.
“The only category to enjoy growth was telecoms – one where new features are still on offer.”