Monday 16 November 2015

Black Friday: running the endgame numbers?

Whilst Black Friday presents a useful promotional and media sales surge, deep down business does not like spikes...

Asda's decision to pass on this occasion, indicates that retailers are beginning to check the numbers and are realising that Black Friday may not be worth the trouble (and cost...).

According to The Telegraph, bargain-hungry Britons are expected to spend £1.07bn on online shopping alone during Black Friday, up from £810m last year, quoting Experian-IMRG.

However, UK retailers stand to lose £130m just from handling returns of items bought on Black Friday, according to the retail intelligence company Clear Returns.

In addition, costs related to lost margins, cleaning and storing, oversupply of stock and the lost value of future custom from the shopper add a further £50m to the returns bill.

In other words, unless suppliers and retailer-partners have integrated Black Friday into a fully costed omnichannel strategy, that yields acceptable returns for the risk - think stock-shortages caused by returns-system lock-in, for a start - it is inevitable that next year other retailers will acknowledge Asda's financial pragmatism and sit this one out...

Time for suppliers to explore alternative initiatives aimed at spreading the promotional effect into a more manageable demand profile?

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