Nine out of ten of retailers back Asda’s intention to scale back Black Friday activity

Monday 23rd November 2015

New research shows Asda’s decision to scale back its Black Friday promotion reflects positions reached earlier this year by other UK retailers.

According to independent research commissioned by law firm Gordons, almost nine out of ten retailers questioned (86 per cent) said they would reduce or end their participation in the pre-Christmas promotion this year. The research* comprised in-depth interviews with 50 retail sector senior executives.

Andy Brian, retail partner at Gordons, said: “Our research confirms Asda’s decision is consistent with the position taken by most other retailers and I would be surprised if we don’t see a general downwards trend in Black Friday sales.

“Trading figures from previous years show that Black Friday does not necessarily increase overall spend in the pre-Christmas period. It creates a sharp spike in sales which in turn presents other challenges for retailers.

“Black Friday puts huge extra pressure on the sales floor and back office operations, not to mention the impact it has on trading before and after the one-day promotion. Argos and Homebase, for example, missed their Christmas forecasts last year despite strong Black Friday figures.

“For many it seems the net benefits of Black Friday simply do not justify the extra pressure on the business, which echoes the announcement made by Asda.”

The research is based on detailed interviews with 50 retail sector senior executives and was undertaken by independent market research agency Swift Research.