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Asda steps back from Black Friday push

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Supermarket chain Asda is stepping back from investing in its annual Black Friday sales event, citing “shopper fatigue” around flash sales on non-essential items in the run-up to Christmas.

The retailer said it has listened to customer feedback and rather than investing in a one-off day of sales it is set to spend 26 million pounds on what it calls “sustained savings” spread across the Christmas period in the hopes of making profitable sales.

The move comes after the supermarket group failed to deliver projected profit last year and was hit with negative publicity after bargain hunters were filmed battling for cheap flash sale items.

Asda was one of the first major UK retailers to embrace the US discount day, inspired by its parent company Walmart, and first introduced the Black Friday event to its customers in 2013, but after two years the supermarket has stated that it doesn’t want to be “held hostage” to a day of sales and this year is hoping this different approach will boost sales.

Asda to skip Black Friday over “shopper fatigue”

Instead, Asda promises more offers in-store and online on a wide range of items, including toys, gifts, clothing, festive food and drink, and household basics starting from this month and running right through to Christmas and into the New Year.

Commenting on the decision to step back from Black Friday, Asda president and CEO, Andy Clarke said: “The decision to step away from Black Friday is not about the event itself. Over the last two years we’ve developed an organised, well-executed plan, but this year customers have told us loud and clear that they don’t want to be held hostage to a day or two of sales.

“With an ever changing retail landscape, now more than ever we must listen carefully to exactly what our shoppers want and be primed and ready to act the minute their needs change. When it comes to putting customers first, Asda has always led the way, which is why we’re just as confident in our decision to step away from Black Friday as we were in introducing it to the UK.”

Bryan Roberts, retail insights director at Kantar Retail, added: “Asda's move reflects British shoppers' desire for simplicity and clarity. Rather than limiting value to a limited period on non-essential items, the retailer's commitment to everyday low pricing on products that actually matter will be well received by shoppers who increasingly plan ahead for Christmas.”

Images: George at Asda

Black Friday
George at Asda