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Black Friday – Does it Still Matter?

Chris Thomas, 15/11/17

Imported from the US, Black Friday first took the UK by storm in 2013 when we first witnessed the crazed buying in stores and online. It’s called Black Friday because it is meant to signal an opportunity for retailers to get back in to the ‘black’ but with many top brands already forced into heavy sales, weeks earlier than usual, it’s suggesting that it has been somewhat of a red October for many of them.

Black Friday is Approaching

The extensive discounting already across the High Street has lead many retail pundits to speculate that this year’s Black Friday will be more subdued than normal, especially so as this year’s Black Friday will be on November 24th a full week before most people are paid. I would be inclined to agree, once Retail goes into sale it’s hard to sustain the footfall over a long period of time as shoppers suffer from Sale fatigue.

But despite the heavy discounting on the High Street Black Friday is once again expected to break online shopping records, but it is evolving. Look out for etail giants Amazon starting their Black Friday deals tomorrow as they attempt to spread the peak demand out over a 10-day period. Perhaps more interesting is Amazon’s decision to open up a “pop-up” store in London, Soho Square showing their appreciation that the High Street still has a valuable role to play. I do wonder though just how temporary this retail adventure will end up being.

Retail businesses need to be agile and able to take advantage of both high street and online markets in order to survive the holiday season, having a presence that is omnipresent to consumers across all devices. Not only does this increase the retailer’s brand awareness but allows them to be innovative and imaginative with their marketing.

Cyber Weekend will run from November 24th to 27th but expect the presents to keep on coming all the way until Christmas.

Chris Thomas