Black Friday Coming!
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Retailers have drafted in extra shop floor and security staff to control the anticipated crowds of shoppers as they prepare for the American-style Black Friday shopping mania due to sweep Britain’s high streets this week.
The 24-hour sales bonanza imported from the US has become big business in the UK, with store bosses predicting that sales rung up on Friday will be double those of last year, at around £200m. Some of the high street’s biggest names, including John Lewis, Asda, Currys and Argos, will launch thousands of deals.
Tens of thousands of shoppers are expected to queue outside supermarkets and shopping centres in the early hours of Friday to get their hands on aggressively discounted TVs, tablets and smartphones. Just as many are expected to log on from their beds, with John Lewis among the retailers launching deals at a minute past midnight.
Given that, for many, Black Friday also coincides with the last pay day before Christmas, the weekend is expected to be the biggest spending splurge of the year as retailers spread deals over several days. Websites such as Amazon and white goods retailer AO.com are running a whole week of deals, starting from tomorrow. Amazon says it will run more than 3,000 “lightning deals”, a limited amount of a product being discounted for a short time. An offer will launch every 10 minutes at an average saving of 40%, Amazon said, with products on offer including Sony 48-inch TV sets and Le Creuset cookware. The event will also play out on social media, with brands launching deals on Facebook and Twitter.
The American event, which follows the Thanksgiving holiday, is a massive sales tradition, although opinion is divided on the true origin of the name. On Wall Street “black” is said to refer to stores moving from the “red” to the “black” as they move into profit for the first time in the year; many chains make all their profit in the Christmas trading period, dubbed the “golden quarter”. Others attribute the phrase to Philadelphia police in the 1960s, when hordes of shoppers caused traffic jams and other problems.
Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer at True Telecom said “Black Friday will boost the sales of the retail sector estimated £2.3bn and increase by 2.3% from last year. If consumers are encouraged to spend and seek value for money propositions, this will also boost the Telecom Sector for both b2b and b2c.”
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