NO BLACK FRIDAY PLEASE, WE ARE BRITISH!

Tired of 1,549 promotional emails every day? So are we. We don’t care how much % discount you have in-store – we’re not braving the maelstrom of shoppers! We’ll just sit at home and do some online shopping, thanks.

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Buy nothing day: A “Buy Nothing” campaign was the UK public’s response to the USA-imported Black Friday, a shopping frenzy and a tribute to unadulterated consumerism.  According to statistics on footfall, which was predicted to fall 4% in stores, UK shoppers were not tempted by the discounts.

Prosecco and pies: However, as Brits are indeed a nation of shoppers, a more refined version of the shopping day has appeared in bookstores. Civilised Saturday is the new initiative from UK booksellers, who wisely targeted the Black Friday weekend. Prosecco, mince pie and book discounts are our kind of shopping day!

B(l)ack out: A third of UK and US retailers admitted that Black Friday is not just dangerous for shoppers but unprofitable, unsustainable and bad news for net margins. LCP consulting released data showing that heavy discounting so early in the season has changed the way people shop and turned pleasurable gift buying into a bargain-hunting frenzy. The guilty party who brought this odd custom to UK shores, Asda (Walmart-owned), has already backed out, admitting that it seemed like a good idea at the time but that they can’t sustain it in the long-term. French and German shoppers showed no interest at all, so is it ‘Au revoir à Vendredi Noir’?

Pyjama party: Early sales figures and an increase of footfall in stores for Click and Collect showed that Cyber Monday was predicted to be the biggest winner of the discounting weekend. Experian expected a 32% uplift in online shopping on the year, as people were ordering from their comfy sofas and deal-hunting in pyjamas on their tablet while watching telly. Bliss. Queuing at the shops at midnight is so last century!

Technical difficulties: Amazon cleaned up this year, with 5.5m items (that’s 64 items per second) ordered from the e-commerce giant on Black Friday. Despite big increases in IT budgets and beefing up their websites, John Lewis, Argos and Tesco still ended up with virtual queues. However, it was Curry’s that took the top position on the leader board of ‘overwhelmed’ with nearly an hour of outage. The writing’s on the wall for UK retailers that are not able to scale up for the peak trading season and the internet hosting industry is the guilty party here. Teamwork and some serious planning are missing.

There’s still time to send us your shopping horror stories to win a case of Barolo wine, freshly shipped from the Piedmont cave. Write to hello@theretailpractice.com for a chance to win!