Stay in the Black Through Black Friday
6 November 2018
Author: Jasmine Waters
Around this time in the retail year starts the calm before the Christmas storm. In the run-up to the big day, it’s no surprise we see a hike in spending and profits – but now the buying begins even earlier. Black Friday is now the day consumers mark in their calendars, ready to splurge and hunt for the best deals they can find.
Where did Black Friday come from?
Though we associate Black Friday closely with the modern market, its history goes back further than first imagined. Tying in closely to the American Thanksgiving holiday, the first example of capitalising on November sales was in 1924, when Macy’s department store was inspired to launch their now famous Thanksgiving parade – the result of which was a serious increase in sales. Following this, after the financial troubles of the Great Depression through to the 1950s, Black Friday officially made a name for itself in 1966.
What does Black Friday really do?
The basic aim of Black Friday is to increase sales and customer interactions through offering substantial discounts, meaning the big name brands are able to hit the big-time with deals of up to 70% off. For smaller brands to get in for the win may be daunting, which is why a good strategy is essential. Starting clear preparations early, being selective with products promoted and discounting old inventory are all extremely important parts of having a successful Black Friday, alongside upselling on the shop floor and on online stores.
How does online compare?
The concept of Black Friday is no stranger to the brick-and-mortar high street, but also has growing digital counterparts. Black Friday has become so popular online, that in 2005, an additional day of sales was added after the US National Retail Federation noticed an increase in sales on the following Mondays after the weekend of discounts. ‘Cyber Monday’ became a staple day for creating profit – we know the World Wide Web is where the dominating sales are, and with a day now dedicated solely to these types of sales, customer purchases should be nothing but constant.
Where is Black Friday?
Although Black Friday originated in the US, the shopping ‘holiday’ can now be seen in full effect across most parts of the UK. The deals are the same, but there are noticeable differences in consumer behaviour. We’ve all seen the viral videos of people squabbling over TVs and fighting to beat the queues (sometimes quite literally). Although this isn’t seen in fashion sales outside Sex in The City, the average consumer is usually calmer, and perhaps slightly more unbothered, across the pond in the UK. Just as much as the brands themselves plan, as do the consumers – if they want to find a deal, they will strategize to get it.
Black Friday can be unpredictable and hard work, but there is no doubt that the promise of discounts will get consumers through the door. Whether this takes place in the UK, US, online or in-store, and regardless of the industry or brand size – the Black Friday effect will work its wonders on the consumers, and most importantly, the sales.