Screaming mobs, police condemnation and numerous critical social media posts, generated reams of negative Black Friday publicity with Tesco and Asda taking the brunt of the criticism.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse for Tesco, they have. Numerous shoppers were put off visiting their stores for fear of being involved in a fist-fight for a cheap telly.
Whilst Asda might argue Black Friday underlined its EDLP proposition, the truth is that the retailers as a whole will have suffered from the headlines which highlighted the havoc and not the bargains.
The real winner was Amazon. Black Friday was the busiest day on record for online retailer Amazon UK, with sales that “surpassed all expectations” the company has said. Its website recorded orders for more than 5.5 million goods, with about 64 items sold per second. Why risk a broken leg when you can order your Xbox One from the comfort of your sofa?
With Goldman Sachs claiming there is a need to close 20% of the UK’s store capacity, the retailers need to encourage more people into their stores, not scare them off. Black Friday may be remembered as a milestone on the road to a digital retail future, rather than an early Christmas present for the retailers.
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