Black Friday – The CHAOS Returns

Black Friday madness has descended upon us yet again with shoppers doing pitched battle our high streets.
Argos, PC World, Selfridges and, unbelievably, even Poundland are believed to be reporting record sales. Barclaycard and the other major card companies have reported record numbers of transactions. In fact, figures for online business have increased every year for the past three years. Barclaycard claimed that the volume of transactions had increased by more than 6% over those recorded for Black Friday 2015.
In Britain, analysts believe that sales on Friday have exceeded last year’s £1.9bn, with people searching for discounts ahead of expected price increases next year. In total, online sales reached £2.9 billion.
Many retailers have extended the sales for a full five days to meet the pre-Christmas demand. Amazon and some of the larger supermarkets started their sales ten days ago.
The total for the following four days is forecast to rise to more than £4bn once the Black Friday weekend is over.
Across the pond in the US, Macy’s department store had so many transactions that its website crashed.
“The Black Friday promotions at the end of November are the start of a longer, more drawn-out peak season, which begins with most of the activity online and then moves in-store as we get closer and closer to Christmas day,” said Richard Jenkins, data analyst at credit reference agency Experian.
Black Friday only really started in the UK in 2014 and has become an internet phenomena.
Warnings have been issued to shoppers over the dangers of getting carried along by Black Friday marketing.
How many of us have noticed, I wonder, that the prices in stores went up last month only to be ‘reduced’ just in time for the Black Friday bonanza?
Our advice is to always do your own comparisons and not get sucked in by the marketing propaganda that you are bombarded with at this time of the year. It’s so easy just to get carried away and not consider if you’re getting value for money. Don’t take the sellers’ word for it that you’re getting a bargain.
We’ve checked the Black Friday prices against similar, or in some cases the same, products available online. In many cases, the prices are almost the same as the ‘bargains’ in the shops, and in some cases lower.
“It’s all hype and salesmanship,” said Rob Warden, who owns a small electrical appliance shop in Rochdale. “I’ve been selling this range of Matrix kitchen blenders for £49.99 since last August. I can’t name the shop, for obvious reasons, but I’ve seen them on sale for £54.95 in a ‘so-called’ Black Friday sale.” He added: “Trouble is people believe they’re getting a bargain and don’t look into it properly.”

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