Black Friday: Chaos, Mayhem – and £4.75 Billion of Opportunity

Unless you’ve been fast asleep for the last several years – since 2010, anyway, since Amazon brought the idea to the UK - you’ll be aware of Black Friday. Like McDonalds and Friends (and Amazon) it’s an American thing now firmly embedded in the British way of life. According to McKinsey, UK consumer participation in Black Friday leapt from 19% in 2015 to 54% in 2017.

It is, of course, the retail day of the year. In the US it provides consumers with the opportunity to fill the void on the ‘bridge’ day between Thanksgiving (which always falls on the fourth Thursday of November) and the weekend by going shopping. The term originated from the Philadelphia Police Department in 1961 to describe the chaos caused by the first shoppers of the Christmas season, although the manic Black Friday we know today could be said to have started when, in 2011, US retailers Best Buy, Kohl's, Macy's and Target, among others, opened at midnight for the first time.

And, like Christmas, Easter and Halloween Black Friday has suffered from ‘event creep’ – things that used to happen on only one day, but now seem to last a whole lot longer.  Black Friday was soon followed by Cyber Monday. Now, it’s a multi-day occasion: Amazon, for example, announced that its Black Friday sale would start on November 16 this year – and they were far from being the first out of the blocks.

Blackvember

That ‘creep’ makes it difficult to know how much we Brits spend on Black Friday, with some analysts looking at sales on the official day, and others looking at the totality of the Black Friday season. IMRG (2) – which amusingly refers to the now extended shopping spree period as ‘Blackvember’ – forecast that, from 19-26 November, we’ll spend £8.1 billion (12.5% up on last year) online, with £1.54 billion spent on the day itself (up 13.2%). Researcher Salmon (3) believes that, this year, we’ll spend a total of £4.75 billion on Friday 23rd November, with 47% of the total being spent online.

What we buy is somewhat clearer. Historically, it’s been electronics. The Daily Telegraph (5) reported that the most popular product reviews Which? Magazine’s website across the sales weekend last year included LED TVs, laptops, soundbars, OLED TVs – and cordless vacuum cleaners.

Who can forget the TV news coverage of Asda’s 2014 Black Friday sale which saw hundreds of consumers scrambling over each other and fighting for heavily discounted TVs? Perhaps unsurprisingly, Asda is one of many household name stores – others are said to include Ikea, Asda, Marks and Spencer, Homebase and Primark – who won’t be ‘celebrating’ Black Friday this year.

Bright, shiny objects

There’s plenty of Black Friday advice out there for consumers planning to splash their cash – with much of that advice focusing on having a plan, and sticking to it. The fact seems to be that that’s not what usually happens: the opportunity to make a huge saving seems to make some of us become desperate to buy bright, shiny objects that we hadn’t previously realised that we really, really needed.

And therein lies an opportunity – as always, when prospective buyers are confused it’s up to you as professional resellers to step in with advice and guidance. Our job is to provide you with the stock at the very best price, so that’s what we’ve done.

You can save up to 40% on selected products in our Black Friday sales:

VIEW OFFERS

New offers will be added throughout November!

For more information or pricing deals, speak to our Consumer TV sales specialist Sam.

Sam Baldry | Consumer TV Specialist
01379 649277 sam.baldry@midwich.com