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Black Friday in the UK: was 2014 bigger than 2013?

black-friday

Black Friday 2014 results have surpassed last year for many retailers.

Amazon reported that 5.5 million items were ordered on Black Friday, up 34 percent on the 4.1 million items ordered last year. Amazon was aided by many of its competitors’ difficulties to cope with the increased traffic to their websites. Tesco Direct, Argos and John Lewis websites all went down for part of the day due to the high volume of traffic.

Currys implemented ‘a pre-planned queuing system to most fairly support shoppers’, this meant some shoppers had to queue for an hour to gain access to their Currys website. Regardless, Currys reported a fivefold increase in web traffic compared last year while John Lewis reported a 307 percent increase.

John Lewis had more than double the number of SKUs on promotion this Black Friday compared to last year – an increase of 103.6 percent.

Argos also increased the number of products on promotion by 65.7 percent as did Currys increasing its number of lines on promotion by 46.8 percent. Halfords and Tesco Direct reduced the number of lines they had on promotion by 8.6 percent and 5.6 percent respectively.

Argos were the only retailer to have less promotions on Black Friday 2014 than on the previous day. Argos had 11,889 products on promotion on 27 November 2014, this is 2,374 more than the 9,515 products on promotion of Black Friday. Of the promotions removed, 93 percent were on toys and games. There was a marginal increase in depth of cut from 19.9 percent on Thursday to 20.2 percent on Black Friday.

Change in number of black friday promos since last year

Tesco Direct had the greatest average depth of cut this Black Friday at 24.3 percent. Currys introduced an average 22.7 percent price reduction, whereas Argos, Halfords and John Lewis all had a similar average depth of cut – between 20 and 20.5 percent. Argos, Currys and Tesco Direct all had a similar average depth of cut to Black Friday last year. Halfords average depth of cut last year was 16.6 percent, this year it has increased 3.8 percent to 20.4 percent. John Lewis also increased its depth of cut from 18.6 percent to 20.1 percent year-on-year.

Black friday 2014 average depth of cut

In the two weeks before Black Friday 2014, Currys, John Lewis and Tesco Direct kept their average shelf pricing stable before dropping it Friday 28 November. Halfords average shelf price dropped on 14 November 2014 when they introduced promotions on fitness trackers. Halfords then started dropping their prices for Black Friday the day before 27 November 2014.

Argos introduced 2,674 promotions on 23 November 2014 predominantly on toys and games, dropping the average shelf price significantly. Argos, Halfords and Tesco Direct all had their lowest average shelf price on the Saturday after Black Friday. Argos and Currys are maintaining their average shelf price since Black Friday while Halfords, John Lewis and Tesco Direct have all increased theirs.

average shelf price index of the major retailers

Although retailers, have on, average kept prices stable they have also increased the prices of some items in the run up to Black Friday.

Currys, for instance, advertised a Kenwood Patissier Food Mixer at £119 offering a saving of £130.99. However this mixer was available from 5 August 2014 – 15 October 2014 at £139.99 after which it was increased to £249.99. John Lewis also conducted a similar exercise with the Hotpoint 7kg Load Slim Depth Washing Machine. On 25 October 2014 the price was increased from £249 to £279; on Black Friday the price was then reduced to £229. Tesco Direct did this with the Packard Bell Easynote 10.1” Touchscreen Laptop. Reduced from £199 to £149 on Black Friday, this laptop was also available for £149 from 20 October 2014 – 3 November 2014.

retailers increasing pricing before black friday

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