Nottingham small business owners are weighing up whether the effort will match the reward when it comes to Black Friday this year.

Statistics from indicate that just over half of those asked plan to make a purchase this Black Friday, but plan to spend significantly less than they would in 2020.

Small business owners are asking those 51% of people to spend their money locally and not to get sucked in with the discounts that Black Friday offers.

Inside of Five Leave Bookshop, Nottingham

Ross Bradshaw, is the owner of Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham, and says its possible to challenge big business but asks why they should bother.

“We pride ourselves on customer service, that’s the most important thing rather than trying to drag people in on price,” he says.

Craig Brothers, board member at the East Midlands Commerce, has said that there is ‘no blueprint’ on what small business should do on Black Friday.

According to finance experts PWC, interest in Black Friday has shrunk across the nation, dropping from 61% in 2022 to 44% in 2023.

It is also anticipated that spending across the UK will fall to £5.6bn, down from £7.1bn in 2022.

“it seems absolutely wild to me, it is not a part of our culture at All.”

Eleanor Burke, Owner of Knit Nottingham

Independent business Megan Crook Textiles, based in Sneinton Market, decided Black Friday is ‘too corporate’ but they would still like to join in with the event.

Social Media Manager Tira McNally says they cannot offer big discounts.

“We make to order and it is really hard to create the garments and then offer them at a discounted price,” she says.

However, they decided to use the Black Friday discount to promote their out-of-season festival brand ‘Get Crooked.’

“What we are doing is using a tag called Colour Friday, to celebrate lots of other small businesses and independents to shout them out,” she says.


Eleanor Burke, owner of Knit Nottingham, says that her customers do not impulse buy and is confused on the concept of a Black Friday.

“It seems absolutely wild to me, it is not a part of our culture at all.

“I don’t understand why we brought it over here. The whole thing seems to be very commercial trying to get people to desperately buy things.

“I don’t really subscribe to that kind of thing,” she says.

Just over half of the population plans to spend on Black Friday, but the average spend is nearly three times less as it was back in 2020.

  • 2020: 39% planned to make a purchase – average spend £296.
  • 2021: 33% planned to make a purchase – average spend £275.
  • 2022: 39% planned to make a purchase – average spend £190.
  • 2023: 51% planned to make a purchase – average spend £113.


When did Black Friday begin?

Black Friday originated in 1939, when a five-Thursday November rolled around. Business leaders asked then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt to move Thanksgiving back a week so the holiday shopping season could start earlier.

This was because, big box stores would sponsor Thanksgiving parades so, when it finished, they would open up to start holiday shopping.

Retailers in Philadelphia started calling the day Black Friday, which was eventually coined across the United States, by the 1980s.

In 2010, the holiday was first introduced the idea to the British public to drive sales and compete during the annual shopping season.