Black Friday - the biggest shopping event of the year in the UK - is on the horizon, falling on November 25th this year. Or does it?
The now famous discount day arrived on our shores in earnest in 2013 and saw retailers offer bargains to rival those seen across the pond. Every year since, the sales day has got bigger as other retailers have jumped on the bandwagon determined to out-do competitors.
And yet, despite what the name suggests, for most retailers Black Friday is no longer a one-day event. Many shops are starting to begin their sales days or even weeks ahead of the big day. And it’s not just Black Friday - this time of year is dominated by the sales.
In the UK we now have Black Friday, which spills over into the weeks either side. Cyber Monday, which also lasts longer than a day, then sales starting in the week before Christmas, the Boxing Day sale, and the old favourite – New Year’s Day sales.
Some retailers are suggesting that the reason for stretching out all of these sales are so that they can cope with demand, reducing any staffing issues and ensuring their websites don’t crash.
But are we in the UK so taken in by the word sale that if the stores keep using the word we will buy? Reports out this week have suggested that only 30% of reduced items in any of the pre-Christmas sales last year were actually lower than prices in the lead up to September pricing.
When did we the consumer become so gullible and when did retailers become so lazy with their marketing that they just add four weeks of “sale” to their year in order to hit sales targets?
We have become savvy when supermarket shopping and wiser to their ‘discounts’ on products yet we seem to be mesmerised by the word sale especially around the “silly season”. How ironic!