Nov 10, 2015
Asda to shun shopping frenzy 'Black Friday' this year
Nov 10, 2015
Supermarket Asda, the British arm of Wal-Mart, said it will not participate in this year's Black Friday shopping frenzy, a year after brawls at one of its stores characterised the arrival of the U.S. import to Britain.
For the first time last year, most British retailers fully embraced "Black Friday" promotions, but many underestimated the demand and police were called to control crowds outside some shops, including Asda.
British retailers had hoped the shopping day, named after the day of the year when U.S. retailers traditionally become profitable, would also kick start the Christmas shopping period, however many found it in fact disrupted their cycle.
As a result many store groups found themselves selling stock at a discount after finding there was less demand for full-price goods in the following weeks, hitting their profit margins.
Asda said it had taken its decision after listening to customers. Instead of investing in a one-off day of sales, it will invest over 26 million pounds ($39 million)in sustained discounts spread across the traditional seasonal shop.
"The decision to step away from Black Friday is not about the event itself," Chief Executive Andy Clarke said in a statement.
"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."
The day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, which falls on the fourth Thursday of November, is extravagantly promoted in the United States as the start of the Christmas shopping season.
With no national holiday in late November, people in Britain had no reason to notice the day until American online retailer Amazon brought its Black Friday sales across the Atlantic in 2010.
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