News, Culture & Society

The £7.5bn Black Friday: Beleaguered stores are set for a sales boost

In a Black Friday frenzy, shoppers are predicted to spend £2billion more than last year this weekend.

But experts warn that some bargains may not be quite as attractive as they appear.

For the first time, Britons will spend more online this Christmas than in the high street thanks to the lockdown of non-essential stores.

Many internet retailers, including Amazon and eBay, have been running Black Friday deals for weeks.

However major retailers including Next, M&S, Wilko and B&M will not be taking part in the sales event on Friday – instead pledging to provide all-year round value instead.

Meanwhile, a dramatic surge is expected in online sales today through the weekend to Cyber Monday.

A study by the Centre for Retail Research estimates spending at online stores over the three days will hit £5.75billion – up by 53 per cent on the £3.77billion for the Black Friday weekend last year.

Many internet retailers, including Amazon and eBay, have been running Black Friday deals for weeks

Many internet retailers, including Amazon and eBay, have been running Black Friday deals for weeks

Next, M&S, Wilko and B&M shun Black Friday

Three major UK retailers have announced plans to shun Black Friday.

Next, M&S, Wilko and B&M say they will not take part in the annual sale event.

They have pledged to focus on offering good value all-year round instead. 

An M&S spokesperson told the BBC that it hadn’t offered any ‘specific Black Friday deals’ for the last few years.

The spokesperson added: ‘We focus on offering great value and deals throughout the whole festive season.’

Bosses at discount variety store B&M have also criticised the annual sale event, saying consumers are often ‘chasing largely deceptive offers that do not represent real savings, or are only available in very limited stocks.’

They added that not having a Black Friday would help to ‘avoid excessive crowds on any one day.’ 

Fleets of delivery drivers will be needed to meet the demand, leading to fears that the courier system will not be able to cope, threatening delays and disappointment.

Many supermarket delivery slots for the week before Christmas are already booked and there is a shortage of qualified drivers to deal with the tsunami of online orders. The Shopping for Christmas study predicts online spending will peak on Black Friday itself when £1.34million will be spent every minute.

Because much of the high street is closed, the report – commissioned by Vouchercodes.co.uk – predicts that spending in bricks-and-mortar shops over the weekend will be down by 63.7 per cent on last year, from £4.79billion to £1.74billion.

The figures suggest that the total spent this weekend online and on the high street could be £7.5billion.

Black Friday, a US custom in which shops slash prices to lure Christmas shoppers, falls the day after Thanksgiving, which is celebrated on the last Thursday of November.

However, experts warn that many Black Friday deals in the UK are not what they seem.

Research by Which? reveals that 85 per cent of products promoted as Black Friday deals last year had been on sale at the same price or cheaper in the weeks before.

The consumer group said shoppers should also look out for duds that come at a tempting price but still aren’t worth the money.

Which? identified a range of bargain goods, from toasters to TVs and car seats, that are of such poor quality it deems them ‘Don’t Buy’ products – some of them sold by the likes of Amazon, AO.com, Currys PC World and John Lewis.

Shops along Princes Street in Edinburgh display posters and signs advertising sales ahead of Black Friday. For the first time, Britons will spend more online this Christmas than in the high street thanks to the lockdown of non-essential stores

Shops along Princes Street in Edinburgh display posters and signs advertising sales ahead of Black Friday. For the first time, Britons will spend more online this Christmas than in the high street thanks to the lockdown of non-essential stores

It said: ‘Dud deals include a stairgate that failed a key safety test, a tepid toaster and a vacuum cleaner that fails to do the dirty work.’

For example, the Hisense 65A7100FTUK LED TV, on sale at £499 at Currys PC World, had the worst picture quality Which? reviewers had seen on a 65in TV for years.

Natalie Hitchins, of Which?, said: ‘Don’t dive in when you spot a tempting deal or you could end up with a dud. Save money and time by steering clear of these Don’t Buy products.

‘To nab a quality product that will last the test of time, look beyond the special offer and check independent, thorough test results.’

Samsung Galaxy Smart Watch, Loft 25 Bean Bag Gamer Chair, Black Friday 2020 is finally here! Annual shopping extravaganza hits the UK with Amazon leading the way – and there is more than 50% off everything from tech to children’s toys

With all but essential shops still shuttered for lockdown in England and other parts of the UK, there will be no scenes of bargain-hunters fighting in the aisles over discounted flat‑screen televisions today.

Instead, the battle for Black Friday deals this year is a cyber one — with consumers heading online as they look to save money.

Experts predict record sales — £750 million today alone — and record price cuts, with shops trying to avoid being stuck with a mountain of unsold stock as the year’s second shutdown has robbed them of four weeks’ peak pre-Christmas trading.

‘This Black Friday has the potential to be the biggest yet, sitting one week closer to Christmas and coming just after pay day for a lot of people,’ says Kyle Monk, head of insight and analytics at the British Retail Consortium. ‘Nonetheless, it poses a dilemma for retailers this year, who must weigh up whether significantly reduced margins are worth the additional volume when deciding on the discounts they will offer, particularly given that stores are closed this year and that online performance this golden quarter might be make or break for some.’

And that is not the only way that lockdown is likely to influence the bargains for which we are looking.

Gadgets are top of the UK’s wish list, followed by fashion, toys and home products.

The first lockdown saw sales of bread-makers and freezers boom as panic buying set in, followed by working-from-home kit such as printers and webcams.

But now it’s all about home entertainment and shopping for Christmas presents. Indeed, online electricals retailer AO World says it is expecting to more than double the amount of televisions it sells during this year’s Black Friday event compared with last year. Chief executive John Roberts predicts his firm will sell more than 100,000 TVs, with customers able to get more than a third off some sets.

Meanwhile, eBay is expecting traffic to its website to eclipse last year, when 18 items were sold every second. Murray Lambell, general manager of eBay UK, predicts toys and entertainment items the whole family can enjoy will be particularly popular.

Inevitably, the move from physical shops to online purchases also increases the risk that shoppers may fall foul of fraudsters.

Consumers are being advised to only buy from official websites, rather than to click on links sent in scam emails designed by fraudsters to look like they come from big-name companies. Consumers are also being told to shop around for the best deals.

According to a survey by Lloyds, nearly two-thirds of consumers who intend to shop in the sales this year have actively delayed a purchase to see what discounts become available. But Which? advises that if customers don’t like the deal on offer, they would do well to wait a little longer. Research by the consumer rights’ champion found that some ‘deals’ are not all they seem, with prices actually dropping further in the weeks after Black Friday. Ahead of the sales, some firms also inflate prices to make the Black Friday discount look greater still.

Websites such as Pricerunner, PriceSpy and CamelCamelCamel (Amazon only) can be used to check a product’s price history, revealing if what has caught your eye is a genuine bargain. Feast your eyes on these welcome discounts on toys and tech.

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The new Apple iPad 7 features the powerful A12 Bionic chip as well as iPadOS 14, so you can work, create and edit on the go like never before. It’s compatible with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard too (sold separately), which means you can jot down notes and sketch easily.

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The Nextbase 322GW Limited Edition Bundle includes Emergency SOS. In the event of an accident, an alert can be sent to the emergency services with your location, which can include important medical data such as blood type and medical history to speed up efficient treatment.

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Print straight from your smartphone with the instax Mini Link Photo Printer. It’s small enough to take with you anywhere, and takes instax mini film, so you can make copies for friends and family.

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Refined and redesigned, the Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 is a super-portable wireless speaker built for adventure. It rocks 360° sound and is waterproof, dust-proof and drop-proof.  

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Easily connect the scooter to the Mi Home App via Bluetooth to access a remote locking system, rider statistics and to customise cruise control settings.

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With the Samsung 55in Smart 4K Ultra HD HDR QLED TV, all your content is upscaled to 4K – even if it’s not filmed in 4K. The intelligent Quantum Processor 4K adjusts each picture in real-time – you’ll be amazed at the level of detail.

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With a debossed ear cup, classic red cable and customised linen case, the collection’s Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones deliver premium sound and defy noise and distractions with Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelling.

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Created with a 10th generation processor, an integrated kickstand and weighing only 770g, Microsoft’s stylish Surface Pro 7 is highly portable, powerful and useful. 

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These impressive wireless Bluetooth Earbuds from Sony are perfect for listening to your favourite podcasts, playlists and more while on-the-go and are comfortable for extended wear.

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Answer your front door from anywhere in the world with this Nest Hello smart doorbell. When it detects a visitor, you’ll be able to talk to them remotely through your phone, computer or tablet and see them in brilliant UXGA HD quality. 

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Perfect for encouraging any mini musician, the Pink Wooden Toy Guitar from Kid’s Concept, would make a wonderful gift for any creative child. 

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The Enhance is a 3-in-1 car seat that offers both rearward and forward facing options from birth to approximately 7 years (0-25kg). 

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The sweatshirt has a print at the front. It has detachable, velcro badges, a regular fit, a side pocket and a brushed fleece lining. Crafted with sustainable 100% organic cotton. 

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The Peppa Pig Balance Bike is perfect for any little Peppa fan. Featuring Peppa Pig character graphics, a removable handlebar plaque and puncture proof tyres. The handlebar and seat height are both adjustable so it will grow with your little one. 

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Build up a storm with this big box of classic LEGO® bricks in 33 different colors. With lots of different windows and doors, along with other special pieces to inspire you, you can really run with your imagination. 

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 Includes 3x Playmobil figures and plenty of role-play accessories. Awning can be opened and closed. Truck is furnished with necessary equipment, including a blender, serving utensils and a sink. Awning can be opened and closed. Rear doors can be opened and closed.

 

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Let your little one unleash their imagination with this super cute rocking toy, perfect for adding a little magic to playtime! 

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The Love Writing Co. Complete Learning to Write Pack is aimed specifically at children aged 3-5 years and comes complete with a pack of five Writing Pencils, a pack of 12 Erasable Colouring Pencils, two Handwriting and Alphabet Practice Books, an Eraser Sharpener and an Eco-Gym Bag. 

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Packed full of activities, songs, stories, movement and phrases, this amazing toy brings one of their favourite characters to life. Youngsters can discover more than 50 In the Night Garden phrases, as well as fun songs and engaging stories. 

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 The possibilities are endless with this Sylvanian Families Red Roof Country Home Gift Set! Perfect for any Sylvanian Families fan, this classic Red Roof Country Home is bound to inspire their imagination. The open, 2-storey design makes playing easier, and children will love all the realistic features.

 

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if you’re wondering what toy will be topping kids wish lists in 2020, look no further than the LEGO Harry Potter Hedwig.

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Blue Parking garage by Stoy. The garage has a design with three levels. It has painted parking spaces. 

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Your child will have a blast moulding, slicing, and shaping this amazing play sand. 

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The Dream Rider was designed to keep kids entertained and parents carefree while travelling. This suitcase collection for children is both fun and practical: travelling becomes play-time as kids can use their suitcases as ride-on toys. 

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Its not just all those marmalade sandwiches that make Paddington Bear so squidgy and adorable you know – we’ve had a hand in it too! Super soft plush fur and just the stuffing for cuddles galore – Hamleys Exclusive Cuddly Paddington Bear Soft Toy is in full traditional Peruvian Bear visits London dress and is looking for a home with a comfortable bed and a satisfactory breakfast spread! 

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Cinderella is a vision of fairytale grace in her glittering ballgown. Your little royal can create their own rags-to-royalty adventures with the posable doll. Includes horse-drawn carriage to take her to the ball in style. 

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We love remote control vehicles, we love wall climbers, we love clever transforming gadgets…what else were we to do, but combine them all?! Thats right, this awetastic, megasome treat of a toy is an all-wheeling, all-climbing robot hero and he’s looking for his next vertical challenge. 

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The brand new Liewood Ditlev rechargeable night light is not only a friendly penguin companion but will also help soothe your little one in the dark. Looks amazing in any modern nursery too! 

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Let your kid get totally immersed in adventure action play with LEGO® Friends 41380 Lighthouse Rescue Center playset. This rescue center toy has a multitude of features. Rescued sea lions access the LEGO lighthouse clinic using a clever hinged pool that swings through 180 degrees to bring the sea lions into the clinic.

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Become the ultimate Jedi and feel the force with this Star Wars Scream Light Saber. Recreate amazing battles from a galaxy far, far away by challenging friends to epic Light Saber battles. Little Jedis will be completely mesmerized by the exciting electronic sound FX inspired by the epic Star Wars saga. 

 

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Large Peppa Pig Glow Friend! The perfect bedtime friend! Press Peppa’s tummy to see her face light up and to hear her talk! Supersoft and cuddly toy. Says classic Peppa Pig phrases. Measures 22cm tall. For ages 18 months and over. 

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The Apollo Roxie Kids Bike – 16′ Wheel packs some serious power into its cool metallic BMX style frame. With colourful pink frame, powerful V-brakes and strong alloy rims, kids will feel unstoppable on this!

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Ergonomically shaped seat that gives support to your baby?s back, neck and head. Choose between three different positions. The bouncer is lightweight and portable for easy use at home, but also folds flat when you’re on the go. 

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Giddy-up, partner! Enjoy the best playtime ever with the Woody The Sheriff Action Figure from the Disney Pixar Toy Story range. Designed using Disney Pixar digital data, this Woody action figure looks so realistic. There are so many interactive features too. Pull his string to hear classic Woody phrases, or listen as he responds to you as you talk to your favourite deputy!

 

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Ideal for both beginner and experienced chapter book readers, Kindle Kids Edition is just for reading, which means no distractions from apps, videos or games. The bundle includes a brightly coloured cover, 1 year of Amazon Kids+ and a 2-year worry-free guarantee. 

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It’s a super intelligent robot! Control it with hand gestures or the radio-controlled handset. Has speech, dancing and singing functions. Programmable with over 50 actions. Charge via USB (cable included). Stands approx 27cm tall. 

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Keep the little ones entertained for hours with this 7-in-1 Dolu Playground. This versatile set will grow with your children, as the baby swing can be removed to access a pull up bar. Whatever their age, there is bound to be something to keep your children occupied. This playground also features a water table/sand pit, drawing table and stool, football goal, basketball hoop and a slide. 

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This electronic quad bike provides hours of fun and excitement. Features easy-grip handles with handlebar steering, 4 chunky wheels, front bumper bar and foot rests.

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The three story house gift set is a large spacious house for the lovely Elephant Family. The top floor has a large arched window and a small balcony to look out of over the picturesque landscape of Sylvania. The second floor can be removed and used to expand the ground floor room. Reversed, it acts as a lawn or garden. All the furniture you need for a fun living room & bedroom scene is provided.

 

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Measuring just over 1 metre long and made with over 4,700 LEGO pieces, the Ultimate Collector Series of the Imperial Star Destroyer captures all the authentic details of the starship as it appeared in the opening scene of Star Wars: A New Hope.

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For Black Friday only, Joe & Seph’s have created this exclusive Ginormous Festive Bundle, crammed with loads of their best-selling Christmas treats! 

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A combination of your favourite classic Walkers crisp flavours in 25 g bags. Includes five mixed multipacks that each contain ready salted (three packs), cheese and onion (three packs), salt and vinegar (three packs), prawn cocktail (three packs).

 

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Treat your loved ones or yourself to a Heinz Tomato Ketchup Chips Lover set this Christmas and be kitted out with all the equipment needed to make the perfect homemade chips. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk