UK consumers to capitalise Black Friday & Cyber Monday

28 November 2014 Consultancy.uk

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, US shopping frenzy days following Thanksgiving, have reached consumers and retailers in the UK, conclude several consultants, including from Accenture and Deloitte. Research shows that shopping on these days has reached a record high in 8 years, especially online shopping is expected to boost this year’s Holiday shopping.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the US and is often seen as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season as many retailers will open very early, sometimes as early as 4am, and offer extreme sales to kick off the holiday shopping season. The term ‘Black Friday’ was first used in 1961. Cyber Monday was first introduced in 2005 and refers to the Monday after Thanksgiving Day. This shopping day was created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online. 

Shopping in London

The two shopping frenzy days that have been popular in the US for many years have, according to many consultants, made it across the pond to the UK. Consulting firm Accenture recently released the results of its online 2014 Christmas Shopping Survey. According to Accenture, UK consumers are set to spend more this Christmas than in 2013, and most of the shopping will be done on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The firm states that consumer enthusiasm for Black Friday shopping has reached its highest level in eight years, with 82% of the respondents planning to shop on Black Friday and 62% on Cyber Monday.

Online Shopping
Different sources reveal that especially online shopping is picking up this season and will boost Holiday revenues.  Big4 firm Deloitte forecasts that UK consumers will spend £42.4 billion this Christmas, which is an increase of £1.5 billion from 2013. “While online sales have shown some loss of momentum, we expect this to pick up in November as retailers and consumers prepare for what are likely to be record-breaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales,” says Ian Geddes, UK Head of Retail at Deloitte.  

Online Shopping

Figures released by Information Services Company Experian and IMRG, UK’s industry association for online retailers, back this hypothesis. Their research shows that UK consumers are expected to spend £555.5 million online on Black Friday and £649.6 million on Cyber Monday. This is an increase of 17% for Black Friday from 2013 and an increase of 26% for Cyber Monday. “Christmas 2014 is on track to be another record breaking year for online retail in the UK. Continuing a trend we identified last year,” comments James Miller, senior retail consultant at Experian. “The US phenomenon of Black Friday is now firmly embedded in the UK e-retail calendar and, while the first two weeks of December are traditionally the peak festive trading weeks for the online retail industry, Black Friday now marks the start of the online shopping season,” adds Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG.

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Grant Thornton advises on deal for high-growth cloud hosting firm

08 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Grant Thornton’s North West Corporate Finance team has completed its first TMT deal of 2019. The professional services firm advised the shareholders of Hosted Desktop UK on their investment from specialist SME lender Beechbrook Capital.

Technological disruption and changing consumer behaviour have continued to affect top Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) players in recent years. The industry has seen revenues border on stagnation over the past decade, at 0.4% annual growth since 2008. While the industry is keen to develop new digital services and models to meet market challenges, they face a range of barriers – meaning the recruiting of talent specialising in innovative software and technology has become a key goal for the industry.

Amid this, Hosted Desktop UK (HDUK) provides cloud computing services to small and medium sized businesses across the UK. The firm’s cloud solutions provide businesses with IT reliability, flexibility, value for money and business continuity. As the firm bids to grow in the UK, with demand for its disruptive technologies high, HDUK has secured a key investment from specialist SME lender Beechbrook Capital.

Grant Thornton advises on deal for high-growth cloud hosting firm

The transaction was Beechbrook Capital’s maiden deal from its latest UK SME credit fund, which supports small and medium-sized businesses in the UK with EBITDA of £1 million and above. Manchester law firms Pannone Corporate (sell-side advice, led by Mark Winthorpe) and DWF LLP (buy-side advice, led by Jonathan Robinson) also advised on the deal, while Grant Thornton’s North West Corporate Finance team advised HDUK’s shareholders.

The deal represents the Grant Thornton branch’s first TMT deal of 2019, with a team comprised of Partner and Head of Corporate Finance Peter Terry, Manager Daniel Brecker and Assistant Manager Cariad Mudford advising HDUK shareholders on the investment. It is the third key deal in the TMT sector that the GT North team has advised on in the last 18 months, following the £16.5 million sale of Salford-based Sonassi to Iomart in December 2017 and NorthEdge Capital’s investment in Yorkshire company iPortalis in August 2018.

Grant Thornton’s Peter Terry said of the news, “As our domestic and working lives become ever-more technology dependent, it’s no surprise that there continues to be strong investor interest in any asset in the cloud computing, data infrastructure and connectivity space… We were pleased to work with Beechbrook Capital on the first deal in its new fund. It shows that despite the well-documented uncertainties in the economy there are still good funding options for dynamic SMEs and their management teams.”