Why Black Friday Is a Total Flop in Great Britain

Rachel Lee

Key Point: Why could this not make the transition to Britain?

This year has been challenging for retailers, to put it mildly. According to the British Retail Consortium, sales were down 1.3% year on year in September, the most recent month available, and the worst since the consortium’s records began in 1995. The summer wasn’t much better, with sales down 0.5% in August and up only 0.3% in July – itself a record low. The Centre for Retail Research says it is anticipating less than 1% growth in real terms for the year as a whole.

As retailers cross their fingers for an end-of-year turnaround, Black Friday is supposed to provide a lift in retail sales on November 29. The great sales event imported to the UK from the US in 2010 is all about trying to attract business away from competitors and boosting profits by maximising sales. Yet in its tenth year, Black Friday seems to be flagging. How useful is it likely to be in attracting customers this year?

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