Cracking Christmas

From a retail point of view (plus any child under the age of 13) Christmas is now officially upon us, and Black Friday is just days away. So while we’ve been dusting off the decorations and trying to untangle the fairy lights here at Mash Towers, we’ve also been reflecting on this key selling time.

From a retail point of view (plus any child under the age of 13) Christmas is now officially upon us, and Black Friday is just days away. So while we’ve been dusting off the decorations and trying to untangle the fairy lights here at Mash Towers, we’ve also been reflecting on this key selling time.

Last year retailers enjoyed sales of over £74 billion during the six-week festive period, with £850 million of sales made on Black Friday*.

While this gave the retailers a flying start, it was not without problems – from stampeding crowds to unprofitable sales and a quieter early December. In fact, Black Friday is a bit like that home brew-fuelled student house party – you know the after effects aren’t going to be good, but you’ve heard EVERYONE is going (and it’s a party, right?)

But maybe this year will be different. ASDA – the retailer who brought Black Friday to the UK – has distanced itself from the event, promising £26 million of savings through November and December instead. ASDA CEO Andy Clarke was quoted on warc.com as saying: “this year customers have told us loud and clear that they don’t want to be held hostage to a day or two of sales.”

However, many retailers will be making the most of what has quickly become the biggest shopping day of the year. For example, Halfords will be offering kids bikes at up to half price. A very traditional Santa gift, this is both a sales driver and a brand builder.

So whether you’re grabbing the Black Friday opportunity with both hands, or simply washing them of it, putting customer wishes at the centre of your decision making will be key to retail success this Christmas.

And while consumers now expect Boxing Day bargains in November, they also want a positive in-store experience and a reassuring brand environment – never more so than when they’re buying gifts for the people they love.

*Centre for Retail Research

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