Black Friday ‘restrained’ this year says expert

Categories: Salford Business School

Supply chain issues have created a more restrained Black Friday this year, says Dr Gordon Fletcher, retail expert at the University of Salford Business School.

Dr Fletcher said: “This year's Black Friday has turned into an event of three distinct parts. Online courses, drones, kettles, customised t-shirts, refurbished laptops, running shoes and rental cars. Some reduced by 80%, some available for most of November. The offers have been appearing in emails, on website ads and banners from the biggest retailers for weeks. This means that the range of items on offer this year among the most diverse ever seen.

“But the increase in offers for discounted services (rather than goods) has now effectively broken the tenuous historical link with the first day of Christmas shopping - in the 1960s - in the US - after Thanksgiving. While there a few large reductions on items at the largest high street and online retailers overall, many of the offers are more modest and reflect a more traditional sale.

“More restrained offers also hint at a reduction in the volume and the variety of brands on offer. The most used business phrase of 2021 will play a role in Black Friday. Supply chain issues are having an impact on which brands, what items and how many are going to be available. This year will not be a bargain hunter's paradise. This year's Black Friday will also further reinforce diverging perspectives in retail.

“Large retailers will compete for our attention with fewer items across a wider selection of good and services. In contrast, many independent retailers will be boycotting the day by not participating in any discounting and, in some cases, closing their websites to prevent any purchases. Rather than attempt to compete with the advertising budgets of the giants, the independents are encouraging shoppers to reflect on what they need, where they get it from and the impact their purchases have on the environment.”  

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