The Black Friday discount day is back in full force this year, with shoppers expected to spend nearly Â£ 9.2bn next weekend, 15% more than in 2020, when a large portion main street in the UK was blocked off.
John Lewis, Asda and Currys said they anticipate more deals this year for the event, which represents more sales than Christmas week, despite struggles to find inventory and recruit drivers for deliveries to residence.
Some stores, like Next and Marks & Spencer, do not participate in Black Friday and others take a different approach. Ikea, for example, offers an additional 20% refund on old furniture brought back for resale.
Gary Grant, founder and president of toy chain The Entertainer, said consumer confidence has been shaken by rising costs of living, such as rising food and fuel bills, and shoppers would be keen to save money on Black Friday sales.
âThe consumer wants Black Friday deals,â he said.
While experts agree Black Friday sales will increase, as families prepare to come together after the pandemic put the brakes on celebrations last year, there is debate over how large stores street will behave in relation to online.
Online spending is expected to increase by a fifth from last year, according to analyst research at GlobalData for the VoucherCodes Shopping for Christmas report, despite the reopening of big box stores.
However, Andy Mulcahy, director of strategy and knowledge at online retail organization IMRG, believes web sales for November and Black Friday itself could drop as much as 10% now that buyers have the option of visiting the stores.
It would be the first time less money was spent online for Black Friday than the previous year in the UK since the event was first imported from the US ten years ago.
Concerns about the ability of online gamers to deliver goods and shortages of some popular products, such as computers and game consoles, can also dampen spending.
Mulcahy said retailers were always bullish and that for those with good inventory, Black Friday would be a âbangerâ.
“They [sales] will still be very high, it’s just that these volumes are rationalizing a little after astronomical growth in 2020, âhe added.
In the battle for shoppers, rival stores have stepped up to the plate by launching deals long before Black Friday. Amazon, for example, launched its sale almost a fortnight ago, Currys launched offers for its loyalty card holders on November 5, and John Lewis launched its first 900 offers on Friday. Of the 317 retailers monitored by IMRG, about a quarter launched their Black Friday promotions on Friday, a number similar to last year.
Jon Williams, director of commercial operations at John Lewis, said the retailer expected to return to 2019 levels. He said sales were already increasing 40% week after week as shoppers braced for Christmas. The department store plans to have 17% more offers than last year when stores were closed and a special “crisis group” will meet every day until Christmas to deal with problems with deliveries or sales. supply of stocks.
Williams said that despite a shortage of drivers in the industry, the company is confident it can meet the demand for door-to-door deliveries as it expects more sales in stores.
âWe’re forecasting around 70% of sales online and 30% in stores, so that amount going through stores should take the pressure off,â he said.
He expects high demand for technology products and said John Lewis has worked hard to have enough computers in stock given the global shortage of microchips that has limited availability in the industry. Williams said there would be “pockets if some major brand suppliers are stressed.”
Grant said the pandemic had “trained” people to shop online, a trend that had been to the detriment of shopping streets and malls. To coax shoppers, The Entertainer will be offering an additional 10% discount to customers who spend more than Â£ 30 in its stores next week.
In what is likely to be a widespread issue, The Entertainer was having issues with agency staff not showing up for shifts in their warehouses – even though they offer retention bonuses for workers. that remain until Christmas.
âIn the first three days of this week, 86 people didn’t show up for work and that has a huge impact on your productivity,â Grant said. âIf we can’t get it back, we can’t put it on a truck and the store can’t have their stock delivered. “
Some of the best Black Friday deals selected by consumer group Which?
TV: LG 55NANO806PA – was Â£ 899, now Â£ 599 (one-third off) at AO, John Lewis or Very.
Laptop : Apple 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro (Core i5) – was Â£ 1,999, now Â£ 1,799 (10% off) at John Lewis; Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 13.3in – was Â£ 1,099, now Â£ 949 (around 13% off) at Currys or AO.
Washing machine: LG F6V1010WTSE – was Â£ 949, now Â£ 749 (21% off) at AO or John Lewis.
Electric toothbrush: Oral B Smart 5 5000 – was Â£ 169.99, now Â£ 64.99 from Amazon (62% off according to retailer).