BRACE YOURSELVES – BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING

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The Black Friday winds are blowing in from America – are your delivery drones oiled, polished and ready for action?

Let’s get physical: 68.4% of CD and DVD sales in the last year were through physical retail outlets, with Game and HMV edging ahead of the UK’s online retailers. The surprising results delivered by Kantar show that, despite delivering the killer blow of a 1-hour delivery window, Amazon is not quite done creating an all-powerful online retail machine, losing 1.2% of market share in entertainment sector. People, there is hope!

International relations: A 12.5% increase in American online shopping volumes is predicted for Black Friday this year, with an estimate of $2.7 billion. Europeans discovered this new shopping tradition only a couple of years ago, but are embracing it just as quickly as they fell in love with Halloween. Carving pumpkins and dressing up as a vampire are now considered to be default behaviour on 31st October, and the Americanisation of our retail calendar is nearly complete. We’re just waiting for the British version of Thanksgiving – perhaps we can have annual shopping events for Trooping the Colour or the Queen’s birthday?

Rei-gn in those Christmas sales: Do you like deep discounting in November? Neither do we, but most retailers were browbeaten to join Black Friday to avoid being left with goods on the shelves. Not REI, one of the leading US chains of outdoor equipment (think equivalent to Blacks in the UK) where the boss is giving all staff a day off, trending on social with #OptOutside. Smart move, as REI will avoid having to discount too early in the season

Google takes to the skies! Black Friday is a logistical challenge for even for the toughest of retailers. Google is cooking up a solution to wave away your delivery worries and traffic congestion issues with their ambitious new Wing Drone plan. Pick Virginia for your late November holidays in 2017 and you may be bargain hunting on Black Friday via a shiny flock of Google drones!

Can I borrow your compass? Bereft of drones for now, we’ll make our way into town for Black Friday. Apparently 80% of shoppers will be using their mobile phones to locate stores during the extravaganza, just as we predicted in Grimsey Report on UK high streets. The mind boggles when you think what the remaining 20% of us will use to find stores – a compass? Checking for moss on the northern side of stones on Piccadilly Circus? A paper map? Ask a friend? Forrester investigates.

Email us with your suggestion for navigating the Black Friday shopping streets – the best one will be included in next week’s [retail bytes]!