Return of Black Friday Uncertain

John Lewis has been one of the first to reveal its sales figures from Black Friday. The 150 year-old company recorded its best year on record; however Black Friday might not be here to stay.

Following the success of Black Friday, retailers have noted that their sales in the weeks up to the 27 December did not match the high sales of late November.

John Lewis has reported that the depression in figures were likely to be a result of the Black Friday rush and the 2014 calendar allowing for one less day in the post-Christmas sales. Overall, John Lewis experienced a 1.4% fall in the Christmas week despite a 19% increase on Christmas Day as well as a 30% increase in click-and-collect orders.

John Lewis’ managing director has voiced concerns that Black Friday has affected their profit margins, with shoppers buying more expensive electrical goods at a discounted price before Christmas rather than after.

The big four supermarkets have also reported feeling the squeeze as consumers tended to visit upmarket chains such as Marks & Spencer and Waitrose. The idea of added-value is evident in the increased sales of Waitrose who are reported to have ‘strong figures and like-for-like growth’. They report a 6.5% increase in sales despite a ‘minor blip’ with their online system. Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, has stated that they are likely to outperform their rivals; consequent to consumers seeking high quality produce and other grocers struggling with price deflation. 

It has been concluded by commentators and directors that Black Friday has not produced the figures first expected when the idea was introduced. It has instead resulted in consumers buying products ahead of Christmas at discounted rate which has reduced sales immediately prior to Christmas and then dramatically affect the spending in the clearance sales.