LONDON — A number of British retailers will be joining their counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic with offers timed to coincide with Black Friday.
The day, synonymous with the promise of cut-priced goods, long queues and consumerism at its most extreme, happens on Nov. 28, the Friday following Thanksgiving. An import from the United States, it kick starts the holiday shopping season.
New figures from RetailMeNot seen by Mash estimate that people in Britain will spend around £1.3 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday on Dec. 1. Last year, the UK spent £341 million on Black Friday and the figures from the online marketplace expects that this will grow by 6.5 percent this year.
Online retailer Amazon.co.uk previously kick-started the notion of Black Friday in the UK but this year some of the top British stores like Tesco, John Lewis and Marks and Spencer are getting in on the game.
“British shoppers are getting their head around the idea of getting a bargain before Christmas," Bryan Roberts analyst with Kantar Retail told Mash.
“When Amazon introduced the concept about four years ago it was met with a shrug of the shoulders."
72% of UK consumers are aware of Black Friday, Marketing Magazine has reported with 22% of them buying something on that day in the past.
Walmart-owned Asda did a number of in-store promotions last year, which Roberts said brought a substantial number of people into stores.
“It was fairly chaotic to say the least with people racing to pick up TVs and bikes,” Roberts said. “People were literally queuing around the store along the back wall to get inside and buy bargains.”
There were frenzied scenes in a number of the stores with people tweeting about the long queues and fights that broke out.
At least 10 of the top UK retailers are expected to run Black Friday promotions this year, but Roberts said that they are remaining very quiet around the details of those offers.
“Tesco are going activate it in store," Roberts said. "People are being cagey about their plans but rumour has it that Sainsbury's will do things in store.”
Here's what we know about five UK retailers' Black Friday offers:
The online retailer has a countdown screen set telling customers to "get set for Black Friday". It's not giving details away about the products it will be discounting but it does say it will be holding a "huge sale" on its tech, toys and TV ranges.
Tesco has told Mash that it is participating in Black Friday this year, but it hasn't yet released any details of what its offers consist of.
Opting to go for a week of promotions, Amazon's Black Friday Deals Week gets under way on Nov. 24 and runs until Nov. 30. It is planning 3,000 lightning deals during which a limited amount of a product will be sold at a discount for a specific amount of time. Items in its Black Friday promotions include: Sony 48-inch TVs, Canon DSLR cameras, Korg digital pianos, Disney Frozen Pyjama sets and Le Creuset Cookware.
4. John Lewis
"If our competitors have a sale we have a sale," the retailer says, adding that its shops will be open early from 8am. Although it doesn't say what its offers will be, it does say that it will be matching the prices of its competitors. Last year, its traffic between 7am and 8am was 14 times more than anything it had seem before.
5. Currys PC World
The electrical retailer is remaining tight lipped about what it has in store, but it has put up a count-down clock on its website leading up to the day. Opening its stores at 8am, Currys says it will have deals on cookers, TVs, tablets, washing machines, fridge freezers and speakers.
And don't forget ...
Sometimes the reality of Black Friday doesn't quite meet your expectations.
Tags: BLACK FRIDAY, RETAIL, SHOPPING, UK, US & World, WORLD