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Chip shortage stops Black Friday shoppers getting TVs and consoles

People bought fewer things this Black Friday than ever before, according to a new report.

Online buyers spent $8.9 billion this year, a small but significant dip from the $9 billion spent in 2020, according to Adobe.

This trend downwards could be caused by early spending – with sales starting as soon as October for the Christmas period. Many are also using their smartphones more to buy, rather than desktop computers, which skews the data.

“For the first time ever, Black Friday saw a reversal of the growth trend of past years,” Vivek Pandya, the lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, told The Verge.

“Shoppers are being strategic in their gift shopping, buying much earlier in the season and being flexible about when they shop to make sure they get the best deals.”

In the United Kingdom, however, that trend was bucked with shoppers spending over 20 per cent more compared to last year.

“We should be set for one of the most successful Black Friday shopping sprees on record,” Rob Cameron, chief executive of Barclaycard Payments, told the Financial Times.

Unfortunately, shoppers on either side of the Atlantic will struggle to buy kitchen appliances and electronics because of supply chain problems. Laptops, televisions, and smartwatches are the most popular purchases with online shoppers.

The chip shortage, which has stopped many from buying next-generation games consoles like the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, may stop potential buyers from getting gifts before Christmas.

“If you haven’t bought all your devices yet, you might be disappointed,” Simon Segars, chief executive of chip firm Arm, said. “It has never been like this before.”

Adobe’s report suggests that out-of-stock messages increased by over 172 per cent since last January, with apparel and electronics being affected the most.

Companies have had to wait as long as 60 weeks for components they have ordered to arrive.

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