LONDON (Reuters) – With harsh lessons learnt from past Black Fridays, British retailers are stretching promotions over several weeks, aiming to smooth out consumer demand and reduce the pressure on supply and distribution networks.
People walk past a sign advertising Black Friday offers in the window of a Blacks outdoor clothing store in Manchester, Britain November 22 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Brought over from the United States by Amazon (AMZN.O) in 2010, the annual event started as a single day of discounting before growing into a long weekend that took in ‘Cyber Monday’.
It then grew to a week or so either side and is now getting longer and longer, though after chaos and scuffles in stores in 2014 it is now predominantly an online affair.
“We’ve re-named Black Friday, November,” John Roberts, the chief executive of AO World (AO.L), the online electrical appliances retailer, told Reuters.
With recent consumer spending subdued, Brexit still unresolved and a looming national election creating new uncertainties, retailers are in need of a tonic. [nL8N27U3BU]
AO went live with Black Friday deals, such as a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer reduced from 449 pounds ($578) to 279 pounds, on Nov. 13 and some deals will run into December.
Dixons Carphone (DC.L), Britain’s biggest electricals and mobile phones retailer, launched a first wave of promotions on Nov. 13 on products such as laptops, TVs and vacuum cleaners, and deals will run for a few days after Black Friday itself on Nov. 29.
Amazon’s Black Friday Sale runs for eight days from Nov. 22, but it has been running early Black Friday deals this week.