UK retailers roll out Black Friday deals despite lack of optimism

London - High street retailers ranging from H&M to House of Fraser to Asos have already begun their Black Friday deals, despite research indicating an overall lack of interest in the day as well as optimism concerning the results of discounting holiday.

Only one out of three (33 percent) retailers believe Black Friday will have a positive effect on their business, while one in five (19 percent) of senior decision makers in retail are optimistic about their business’ prospects on Black Friday this year, according to research carried out by Royal Mail Parcels. This highlights the growing apprehension felt by retailers across the nation concerning the borrowed US shopping holiday, despite previous research indicating shoppers could spend as much as 10.1 billion pounds during this Black Friday season.

UK retailers roll out Black Friday deals despite lack of optimism

UK retailers and brands launch Black Friday deals, despite decreasing attention from consumers

A growing number of retailers are set to participate in Black Friday this year, after giving in to pressure to discount excess stock in the run-up to Christmas, following in the footsteps of department stores and e-tailers who have already begun to offer sales in the run-up to the big day. Debenhams has launched discounts of up to 50 percent on selected product categories act day of the week, running up to November 24 online and in-store, whereas House of Fraser begun an 11 day Black Friday campaign on November 17, with discounts as high as 40 percent offered across a number of its products.

In addition to vowing to price match its competitors' promotions, John Lewis is currently offering up to 30 percent discount on selected womenswear and menswear brands, including Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith, and Michael Kors, as well as 20 percent off sportswear brands. High street retailer H&M launched its Black Friday countdown earlier this week, offering different deals on selected denim, knitwear, and accessories, with discounts of up to 40 percent, whereas newly opened Arket has launched colour week, offering customers 25 percent off its signature and core times across all departments according to colour. The discounting begun with Blue Monday on November 20 and is set to end on Black Friday. Other retailers including Diesel, Gant and Sports Direct have also launched campaigns and discounts ahead of Black Friday.

UK retailers roll out Black Friday deals despite lack of optimism

Online retailers have also begun their Black Friday deals ahead of the day. US giant Amazon decided to take things one step further for Black Friday this year and launched a pop-up store in central London on November 21, which will run through to November 24 in addition to usual Black Friday countdown flash sales. Asos was offering up to 60 percent off women’s accessories and shows as well as men’s chinos and jeans earlier this week, whereas is offering up to 30 percent selected womenswear, sportswear, and shoes, in addition to special deals on electronics.

However, with less than two days to go before the big day, additional research from Retail Economics notes that the novelty of the discounting day is likely wearing off, with only 19 percent of shoppers indicating they plan on taking advantage of the sales this year. Although younger consumers showed more interest in spending on Black Friday in comparison to their peers, overall 62 percent of shoppers expect to spend less this Black Friday than the previous year. “Just under a quarter of consumers suggested that they would spend less during the event because they were losing interest while a further 42 percent thought that retailer’ discounts would be worse than last year,” said Richard Lim, Chief Executive, Retail Economics.

“Fading demand for Black Friday is not necessarily a bad thing for retailers who would rather see incremental spend spread across the whole of the Christmas season than discounted sales pulled forward at the expense of future demand. It also eases pressure on capacity constraints for retailers who have previously struggled with crowded stores, failing websites and poor customer experiences.”

Photos: Courtesy of Gant, Arket and Diesel


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