While 2014 was not the first year Black Friday came to the UK, it appears to be the first time we’ve seen the frenzy that usually appears in news images from mega shopping events in the US.
Ebuyer.com received one order every second, John Lewis sold a tablet every second, Currys’ and Argos’ websites crashed, and Tesco customers actually had physical in-store fights while trying to take advantage of the price cuts.
Despite Black Friday helping Tesco’s online service enjoy a record sales week, the grocer’s overall like-for- like sales for the last 19 weeks of 2014 fell 2.9 per cent.
Tesco has now announced that it will close 43 unprofitable stores, set lower prices and consolidate head office locations.
So while Black Friday may have been a success for some, it seems that a record sales week can’t always make up for a bad year.
I spoke to some independent retailers about this news, and the response was that they were not really surprised.
“I don’t think this news will impact indie retailers in the short term. My advice is still the same. Don’t chase low prices, instead add value, and as always, aim to increase your gross margins,” said one.
“You must be offering complementary services alongside hardware to make a success in today’s retail climate. Services are something Tesco has struggled to make work, but where independents have a distinct advantage,” added another.
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