Leading UK retailers see Black Friday as "unprofitable" & "unsustainable"

London - This year sees a mixed bag of reports regarding the importance of Black Friday, the borrowed shopping holiday taken on from the United States which signals the count down to Christmas Day for many retailers.

While more and more consumers question the value of the deals the scored during the retail bonanza, leading UK retailers perceptions of the borrowed holiday have continued to shift as well. While in the past black Friday was seen as a useful tool to engage with a wider range of consumers ready to begin their holiday shopping, research indicates that the number of UK retailers which view Black Friday as an "unprofitable" and "unsustainable" promotional day has doubled over the last year.

Leading UK retailers see Black Friday as "unprofitable" & "unsustainable"

Research from LCP Consulting found that close to two-thirds (61 per cent) of the UK's leading retailers see the shopping discounting say as unprofitable, up from 32 per cent in 2015, in spite of the borrowed discounting day gaining more traction throughout the UK. Online giant Amazon UK is set to kick off a 12-day countdown to the big sale, offering Black Friday special prices, a move which could cause further damage to a number of UK retailers currently battling against aggressive discounting.

However, across the pond in the United States, retailers show no signs of slowing down when it comes to Black Friday promotions. The majority of the retailers remain largely convinced of the sway held by Black Friday, with only 35 per cent of them viewing the shopping event as an unprofitable venture. In the UK a number of UK retailers have already withdrawn their involvement with Black Friday, with Asda cancelling its Black Friday event in 2015, and other fashion retailers such as Jigsaw and Next choosing not to participate at all.

"The majority of UK retailers claim that Black Friday is margin erosive and unprofitable," says LCP Consulting. "The key question for 2016 is how many more retailers will follow Asda’s lead from 2015 and shun Black Friday involvement in favour of deeper promotions across December, or will perceived competitive pressure lead many to continue to drive Black Friday sales despite the prospect of short term losses and the potential for service disruption?"

Photo: Oxford Street, FashionUnited

Chart: LCP Consulting


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