Argos and Asda back off Black Friday

Black Friday 2015 in the UK is billed as one of the busiest retail days in history with some analysts suggesting £1 billion in sales could be made on that day alone. Physical retailing can be a nightmare for shoppers and retailers alike, with Asda getting extremely bad press last year over the crushes and fights that ensued, and the logistical problems of getting enough goods to be sold in such a tight period of time.

Retail giants Argos and Asda have suggested that they are backing away from the Black Friday madness. Though Asda is owned by the US retail super giant Walmart which in turn gets a lot of publicity there for the chaos that ensues over heavily discounted goods being sold in its shops, it seems that the UK’s media has a little more clout locally than its US rivals. Asda announced this week that “customers have told us loud and clear that they don’t want to be held hostage to a day or two of sales.” Instead the company’s strategy is a series of sales throughout the Christmas period that arguably won’t get the British public frothing at the mouth over the opportunity to buy certain items.

Argos meanwhile seems to have assessed the problems of logistics – due to the system of in store ordering it is impossible to push an old granny over for an X Box – and has announced that as well as Black Friday it is offering ‘Red, White and Blue Fridays’ with a gradual build up of sales to Cyber Monday. This is better for the supply chain as a whole, avoiding the need to have too great a stock capacity ahead of one flash sale.

E-commerce is still looking toward the Black Friday phenomenon, so where high street retailers may avoid the headlines of mass brawls over TV’s, e-tailers are preparing for a bumper day with high server loads rather than high footfall making the 26th November a day to remember.