Asda to check out of Black Friday Sales

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

Asda Portrack Lane Stockton

Asda will not be part of Black Friday this year, citing “shopper fatigue” around the one-day sales event.

The Walmart-owned retailer, which has 10 stores on Teesside, faced criticism from the police for its poor handling of the event last year when shoppers fought over deals in its stores.

And in 2013 there was a stampede at an Asda store in Belfast.

The supermarket said customer feedback supported the decision.

Retail analysts have long argued that Black Friday – the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the US – is costly for retailers who are forced into a price war and face other expenses such as security.

Asda, which saw over two million people visit its stores on Black Friday last year, has chosen to invest in £26m of savings for its customers across the season rather than on a one-off day of sales.

The chain’s boss, Andy Clarke, said: “Over the last two years we’ve developed an organised, well-executed plan, but this year customers have told us loud and clear that they don’t want to be held hostage to a day or two of sales.

“With an ever-changing retail landscape, now more than ever we must listen carefully to exactly what our shoppers want and be primed and ready to act the minute their needs change.

“When it comes to putting customers first, Asda has always led the way, which is why we’re just as confident in our decision to step away from Black Friday as we were in introducing it to the UK.”

Other retailers are pressing ahead with plans to discount on Black Friday, which this year falls on Friday November 27.

John Lewis admitted last year’s sales dented profitability but its commercial director said it had “no choice” but to take part again.

“We are part of this whether we want to be or not,” Paula Nickolds said.

“We are anticipating that Black Friday will be bigger than ever this year.”

Tesco will also participate, albeit with measures to mitigate against trouble in its stores.

Black Friday is thought to have been given its name because brisk business was said to have helped retailers back into profit – into ‘the black’.

Many retail analysts argue that it merely brings sales forward rather than driving any incremental business, therefore having a detrimental effect on profitability as stock is discounted more heavily than is necessary.

The event was introduced to the UK by Amazon in 2010, with Asda joining in from 2013.

 

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