RETAILERS are preparing for what they predict will be the UK’s biggest day of shopping – the annual US import known as Black Friday, 28 November.
Despite the name, the sales extravaganza begins today, with Amazon.co.uk beginning its Black Friday Deals Week at 8am, with “lightning deals” every ten minutes and heavy discounting.
But on Friday the UK high street and most online retailers will slash prices in the hope it will kick off the Christmas shopping season, with Visa Europe predicting that £360,000 will be spent every minute, or £6,000 per second, on its cards.
While Amazon.co.uk only introduced the UK to the event – held in the US the day after Thanksgiving, when consumers are on holiday from work – in 2010, high street retailers have been quick to embrace it. John Lewis has promised that its Never Knowingly Undersold commitment will remain in place subject to availability.
John Lewis director of online Mark Lewis said: “Black Friday is changing the way our customers plan their Christmas shopping and we expect this year will see it come of age.”
Amazon’s vice president of EU retail, Xavier Garambois, said: “Last year, Black Friday was so popular that for the first time we received orders for over four million items in one day.”
Asda said it would leverage the buying power of parent company Walmart, renowned for Black Friday deals in the US.
Jeremy Fennell, e-commerce director of Currys PC World, said: “We predict traffic to our websites this year to be even bigger than the volume seen on Christmas Day last year, with over half coming from mobile as more and more people take the opportunity to get great deals on the go.”
Superdrug said it expected to sell a Black Friday product every second, including 16,000 electrical toothbrushes, 20,000 bottles of fragrance – and half-price One Direction light-up mirrors.