The truth about Black Friday

Black Friday online shopping

Black Friday is coming up on Friday 26th November, the day after thanksgiving, and this year it poses a lot of questions. Year after year we see huge discounts on TVs, gadgets, appliances, clothing and more from large retailers online and in-store. Promotions in our email inboxes can last for weeks leading up to the event, enticing us with 70% popular items from our favourite stores. Many bargain Christmas presents are often bought on Black Friday and customers purchase big-ticket items they may have had their eye on for a while.

However, not all deals are what they’re cracked up to be. How often do you click on the 70% email to find that most items are only 10% off? A whopping 99.5% of deals on Black Friday are the same price or cheaper at other times of the year (Which?, 2021). Semi-annual and post-Christmas sales can provide even better deals than the well-marketed Black Friday.

If you do decide to partake in Black Friday and think you will be waiting in line for hours outside a shop, you may be wrong. Most customers are avoiding shopping in person as they are put off by the vast amounts of people bustling around with flat-screen TVs. 60.8% of shoppers in the US avoid in-store shopping because of too many crowds (Drive Research, 2020), which had increased even more due to Covid. Consumers have also been given the instruction this year is to buy local from small businesses. We all know that online giants such as Amazon will thrive from Black Friday, but small businesses are struggling to keep afloat after the impact of the pandemic. Almost a third rely on Christmas time for making a significant percentage of their yearly profits.

For many businesses, the event may be another obstacle to tackle in the supply chain crisis. With Covid and Brexit slowing down supply, but the lifting of restrictions increasing demand, businesses may face a shortage where they cannot meet the demands of shoppers this Friday. This may also be the reason for the not-so-good-looking deals and why consumers are dipping out of Black Friday.

Are you a business owner or a consumer? How will you approach Black Friday 2021? Let us know on Twitter.

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