Should you skip Black Friday this year?

Asda will scale back on this year’s Black Friday sales on November 27th, but should other retailers follow suit?

Despite the Walmart-owned store being largely credited with introducing Black Friday to the UK in 2013, the retailer is closing its doors this year after chaos broke out in 2014.

It wasn’t just Asda that experienced the mayhem of Black Friday in 2014. We reported on a number of incidents, including a major brawl in Tesco as customers fought over tech goods.

Couple the fact that shoppers are actually putting themselves in harms way for a bargain, with many retailers voicing concerns that this one day of mega sales may actually harm their business over the rest of the Christmas shopping period, mean it’s time to take a stand against the mayhem?

Springboard revealed that despite the concern raised by retailers last year about the impact of Black Friday on the Christmas trading period, Black Friday is once again being embraced by the industry.

"After experiencing the overwhelming appetite from consumers last year, even more retailers are expected to join in this year, which could see activity double the levels we saw in 2014," Springboard said in a statement.

The firm reports that as more and more retailers follow the new tradition of offering attractive flash sales, Springboard is expecting footfall to surge 11.5 per cent year-on-year in retail destinations across the UK on the day.

How is the trade gearing up for Black Friday?

Retail parks are forecast to see the biggest boost of 17 per cent, continuing the trend of a strong year to date. Following a difficult year on the High Street and fluctuating period for shopping centres, welcome uplifts in footfall are expected with footfall anticipated to rise nine per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: “Despite the uplift that the new ‘tradition’ in our trading calendar brings for retailers, there is limited evidence of the benefit for retailers over the Christmas period as a whole.

“Indeed, what we have already identified is that a key issue – and one that retailers should not lose sight of – is the likely hit on footfall in retail destinations and therefore on bricks and mortar stores that Black Friday weekend will cause on the following weeks.”

Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the British Retail Consortium, also commented on the lead up to Black Friday: “A number of categories which we’d typically expect to be popular on Black Friday saw a slowdown in October, suggesting that some shoppers may be holding out in the hope of some great deals at the end of November.”

When PCR asked on Twitter if we should skip Black Friday this year, Steven Lewis, founder of Veho, replied:

While some may be pondering whether Black Friday is for them, others are trying to build up even more excitement around the event. For example, Razer has launched a Black Friday VIP preview sale, giving VIP customers a head start on its deals.

Will you be skipping or fully embracing Black Friday this year? Let us know in the comments section below.

So, should you skip Black Friday this year? Our panel of tech distributors will be answering this question – and many more from the trade – at PCR Boot Camp North 2015 next week. The conference and expo is free for retailers and resellers to attend – so make sure you’ve signed up here

Image source: Shutterstock

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