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Will the Black Friday flop spark a Christmas sales bonanza?

 

It seems that retailers have been left with mountains of stock after this year's Black Friday flop and are expected to hold flash sales between now and Christmas..

With many families shunning the high street stores and instead opting to shop online, (where there discounts of up to 60 per cent), the shocking result saw internet takings surpass the £1billion-a-day mark for the first time.

Demand was so high that the websites of major retailers stalled, with John Lewis’s website completely crashing, costing them an estimated £2.8million in lost sales. Tesco, Boots and Debenhams also had major issues leaving customers with cause to complain.

Big sellers included food processors, juicers, TVs and vacuum cleaners. Particularly popular was a deal from Curry’s PC World offering £30 off Apple iPads.

Many shoppers across the country didn’t even go to sleep and were up all night shopping, with laptops, tablets and mobiles at the ready looking for bargains.  

The final online sales figure was expected to be more than 30 per cent better than last year’s £810million.

But on high streets and in shopping centres the expected US-style frenzy failed to materialise. Last year there were ugly scenes as enormous crowds pushed, shoved and fought over cut-price TVs from midnight. This year, store openings were delayed until 5am, the crowds were sparse, car parks deserted and the relatively small queues were orderly.

Some believe that Black Friday is the worst thing we have ever imported from the US as it causes enormous disruption to normal trading patterns, forces retailers to slash profit margins and created a delivery backlog. Footfall was apparently down by 8.9 per cent in retail parks, 6.5 per cent in high streets and 4.6 per cent in shopping centres. Many of those who had bothered to queue – some in their pyjamas – were disappointed at the scale of the discounts, compared to a year ago when stores called for police help to quell unruly crowds, arrests were made and shoppers were kicked and punched in the bargain hunting melee!

 

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