In recent years, companies in Great Britain have started embracing the American holiday shopping tradition of Black Friday, but now it seems that the practice is falling out of favor. Some British companies have stated that they want nothing to do with the chaos.
The major British supermarket Asda has stated that it will not participate in this year’s Black Friday. Asda only just started its Black Friday program in 2013. Rather than decreasing prices for a single day, the company will instead reduce prices across the entire holiday season.
Many companies in the United Kingdom have been turned off by the chaos that has come to be associated with Black Friday. Customers have been known for fighting in aisles, and websites have crashed because of high demand.
Meanwhile, in the United States, a traditional Black Friday is no longer as prominent as it once was. While it is obviously still practiced, retailers are starting to spread the savings out rather than offering them all at once. Stores such as Walmart and Target are still offering Black Friday sales, but they will spread their deals out more across the holidays, instead of simply offering one giant sales day.
Retail researcher Richard Perks said, “Last year’s Black Friday damaged Christmas gift spending and it took sales away from full-priced sales over the Christmas period. We think UK retailers will concentrate on damage limitation from now on, though it is clear that no one feels that they can really ignore Black Friday.”
According to Asda, the company found that customers would prefer to have regular offers throughout the holiday season rather than a major single-day sales event. Forcing shoppers to receive major deals on Black Friday caused a sort of “shopper fatigue” that led to decreased sales leading up to Christmas.
Asda CEO Andy Clarke said, “Customers have told us loud and clear that they don’t want to be held hostage to a day or two of sales.”
Other companies are taking similar action. The managing director for retailer John Lewis, Andy Street, referred to the practice of Black Friday as “collective madness”. Meanwhile, women’s fashion retailer New Look says that it will still have a Black Friday event, but it won’t be as large as that of last year.
In the United States, some companies are also forgoing the practice. If the trend continues, we might be looking forward to a less hectic holiday shopping.