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UK Insights

UK Black Friday roundup

Claire Davies

Former editor and head of content

Retail 2014 28.11.2014 / 12:00

Black Friday

Kantar Experts look at the impact of Black Friday 'chaos'

As police are called to Supermarkets, Kantar looks at the increasing influence and impact of the US shopping 'holiday', Black Friday.

Bryan Roberts from Kantar Retail says: "Despite initial scepticism that such a blatant and somewhat tenuous American import would never take off in the UK, scenes from supermarkets around the UK suggest that Black Friday is here to stay. With reports of major retailers seeing their ecommerce sites grind to a halt, and with a very wide range of high street brands all piling in too, there is every sign that Black Friday is now a permanent red letter day in the UK retail calendar. There are obviously lessons to be learned in terms of crowd control and online readiness, but, like it or not, both retailers and shoppers have embraced the Black Friday concept."

But Ed Garner from Kantar Worldpanel is concerned: "The majority of people will have had a poor retail experience (either physical or on-line), with failing websites or in-store riots, together with negative news coverage."

Kantar research shows the majority of Black Friday bargain hunters will be shopping online. Matt Woodhams from Kantar's Added Value says brands need to be careful about their digital messaging: "Some marketing departments will see it as an excuse for huge amounts of spam; however, the 'Black Friday' umbrella branding of this, with a huge number of brands taking part, does help in the sense that it sets up a price promotion as some kind of event that people might feel they're missing out on if they don't participate. So in that sense, it's better than a 'sale' which smacks of desperation to attract customers in a very competitive environment. The bigger question is whether it's a good retail strategy to be going head to head with every other retailers' Christmas promotional messaging on the same day - I've seen some emails appear in my inbox offering me 95% off some products - but even this doesn't really cut through amongst the hundreds of other price messages - in fact using the headline reduction to try and attract attention is counter productive as I'm left thinking that retailer and that product are wildly overpriced."

Source : Kantar Retail, Kantar, Kantar Worldpanel, Kantar Added Value

Editor's Notes

Journalists, to speak to a Kantar retail expertise, please contact us.

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