No need for Black Friday chaos – retailers are set for longer sales

Thursday 17th November 2016

In partnership with the Business Desk, retail partner Andy Brian looks at the upcoming Black Friday period and what it means for retailers.

In just a few short years, the discounts and deals of ‘Black Friday’ – traditionally the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving in the U.S. – have become an annual fixture on this side of the Atlantic too.

Previous Black Fridays have been marked by a slew of bargains appearing on the shelves in a ‘now or never’ sale. However, it appears that the industry may be moving away from this model, with deals and offers available between Black Friday and Christmas as retailers seek to boost trading throughout the Christmas shopping period.

Retailers’ experience of recent Black Friday sales means it is unlikely we will see a flurry of deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone. However, consumers will not miss out on the chance to make savings, as retailers are likely to use Black Friday to kick start a longer (and more manageable) period of deals spread over the holiday season instead.
With a couple of weeks to go, most retailers are yet to reveal their plans for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but it also is unlikely we will see the scenes that made headlines in recent years with shoppers fighting to be first through the doors.

The reason is that trading figures from previous years show that Black Friday and Cyber Monday do not necessarily increase overall spending in the pre-Christmas period. Instead, they create a sharp spike in sales which in turn presents operational challenges for retailers, with huge pressure on websites, sales floors and delivery networks, not to mention the impact it has on trading immediately beforehand and afterwards.

Some retailers, such as e-commerce giant Amazon will still go big on Black Friday, but in 2015 we started to see many other retailers change tactic and spread their deals between Black Friday and Christmas. Savvy shoppers can expect to see more retailers following suit this year.