The Good and Bad Sides of Black Friday

Posted on 10 December, 2014 by Chris Grigorovsky

When the holiday season approaches, tensions run high, as everyone is out to get their loved ones the gifts they desire. With the modern age that we live in, the ideal presents are very expensive and for many, seem unattainable. But over the past couple of years, an event originating from America after Thanksgiving day called Black Friday has seen its way across the pond to UK retailers. For this brief period of time, retailers across the country, whether online or in store, slash their prices of top products. It was a saviour to the masses and millions take to the streets to grab the best deals.

Black Friday shopping word cloud on a laptop computer with a cup of coffee

Reports have shown that purchasing products online increased by 37.5% compared to last year, while the retail sales are up by 2.2%. This is great news for retailers, as previous years around the November period have seen sales hit a slump. Visa, the credit card company, stated that £518 million of sales were made on their accounts. Amazon also had reason to celebrate as they saw its busiest day during the event, seeing 5.5 million orders being taken from 8am. So Black Friday from the outside seems to be a huge success. But is this sales bonanza always a winter fairytale for the commercial industry?

One of the issues that plagued the event was the sheer amount of traffic. Millions flocked to stores across the country, with violent encounters and even Police needing to be called. Online stores suffered the same fate, as electronics giant Currys saw their site being so overwhelmed with attention, a queueing system was put in place. While another electronics retailer, Best Buy, saw their website crash during the sales frenzy.

So how does it affect the commercial industry? The biggest positive is a great boost of exposure for in store retailers, a sector that normally sees a decline due to online shopping being the easiest method. Those sales give a moment of madness, that as soon as it slows down, everything goes back to normal and the in store retailers return back to the usual end of year dry spell.

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