Black Friday…changing UK retailing practices?

Black Friday in the US

The wave of hype and excitement is palpable, even this side of the Atlantic, as Black Friday looms ahead! For those that don’t know, Black Friday is the first shopping day after Thanksgiving in the United States. Thanksgiving typically falls on the last Thursday in November, and is celebrated like no other day in the States, it is even bigger than Christmas! And Black Friday is their equivalent of the UK’s Boxing Day Sales, but as you would expect, with more hype. It is called ‘Black Friday’ as this frenzy of retail activity typically pushes the retailers from the red into the black, as they begin to make a profit for the year.

The last few years has seen retailers leak their Black Friday offers online and to the press in an effort to increase both awareness and sales. Walmart, Best Buy and amazingly Amazon selling smart phones for 1 cent have all been at this year. But this also potentially poses an issue to retailers in the UK. The internet has broken down barriers, so you can buy clothes, technology products, whatever you like from anywhere. And Amazon in the UK has started having a ‘UK Black Friday’, where they have a fire sale of selected lines. Will other retailers in the UK follow suit and have a fire sale before their pre-Christmas sale to try and cash in on this growing phenomenon.

Some retailers are already doing this, but in the next few years begin to expect much more the pre-sale fanfare of the UK’s Black Friday. The main difference in the UK, is that will be more of an online phenomenon, as of course Black Friday is not a holiday in the UK. (That said it is not a holiday in the US but many workers are given the day off as they go shopping).  So ecommerce spikes may abound, as people shop online, as UK retailers look for further opportunities to drive sales.

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