Last year saw Black Friday gain traction here in a major way. Whatever the various PR machines might have said at the time, the truth is that this latest import from the USA dilutes margins and brand values in pretty much equal measure. November 2014 saw the biggest increase in non-food retail sales by value for that month in over 15 years – +9.1%. By volume, the increase was +12.3%. The real problem with Black Friday is that represented discounted sales clawed forward from (theoretically at least) full price December Christmas trading.
This year’s Black Friday will be even bigger. Pandora’s Box is now open and the “if we can’t beat them, we’ll have to join them” thinking will be very hard to resist. We wont see the double digit yoy sales hikes seen last year but I nevertheless expect November’s non-food sales value to increase by 5.2%. November is becoming a more important month in the retail trading calendar – a trend over the past four years as Black Friday has taken root.
There is no question that Black Friday will again suck spend forward from Christmas sales. After all, household spending is finite and the cannibalising effect will be repeated. My next Blog will focus on what I expect for Christmas 2015, taking the knock-on impact of Black Friday into account.
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