black friday

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - ShopStyle Revamp
Image source: ShopStyle

Black Friday hysteria has well and truly arrived, with some discounts starting even earlier than expected. We’ve taken a look at how retailers are handling one of the biggest shopping events of the year, from tech-enhanced in-store experiences to websites that will help shoppers scope out the best deals.

ShopStyle creates new website

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday gain traction year after year, ShopStyle has devised a means of filtering through all the promotions so shoppers can find the best daily deals. The shopping comparison website has designed a site dedicated to holiday promotions. Updated daily by ShopStyle editors, the site collaborates with 1,400 fashion retailers aiming to present the “best of the best” deals to its users.

Pinterest users will probably spend more

On the brand’s business blog last week, Pinterest employee Liz Xiao revealed that two million people had already saved Black Friday and Cyber Monday-related pins, and there’s no doubt that that number has increased now that Black Friday week is in full swing. Xiao also added that, according to a November 2015 Civic Science survey: “Not only will Pinners shop more on Black Friday, they’ll also spend more than non-Pinners.” Pinterest users are generally willing to spend three times more on clothing and accessories than those who do not use the social-media-cum-scrapbook site.

In-store revamps ready for the customer onslaught

Over at Macy’s, an update to the department store’s Perry Ellis concession aims to change the way men shop for their clothes. The store has installed floating mirrors – fitted with proximity sensors that will, on cue, display interactive branded content – as well as LED hardware that will further promote Perry Ellis’s values. Phone-charging stations have also been installed for customer convenience – ideal for savvy shoppers who use mobile technology to improve their shopping experience. Meanwhile, Bloomingdale’s first-ever outlet store opened last weekend in New York, no doubt deliberately timed to tap one of the year’s biggest shopping periods. While the Bloomingdale’s Outlet has yet to release any information regarding its Black Friday offers, its discounts already offer a generous 25-75% off.

The discount backlash

In a similar vein to complaints about manic shopping on Boxing Day, Black Friday has received criticism due to the fact that it falls over the Thanksgiving weekend – the day after Thanksgiving itself – which, some argue, is a time for rest, relaxation and spending time with loved ones. While Macy’s will, for the third time, open its doors for Black Friday at dinner time this Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 26), other retailers are refusing to succumb to the pressure. For the first time, all of H&M’s US stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day to “allow [their] store teams to enjoy this time with their family and friends”. British retailer Jigsaw, meanwhile, has released a Black Friday Manifesto online, explaining that it will not be partaking in Black Friday, declaring: “Our products are reduced by nothing because they stand for something.”

Cyber Monday deals look promising

Those who don’t like the idea of venturing outside over the Thanksgiving weekend can still capitalise on retailers’ generosity by shopping online on Cyber Monday (November 30), or even before then. Amazon – whose Prime Day deals in June were more successful than last year’s Black Friday events – is a testament to the success of online shopping, and the company appears to be ahead of the pack, offering highly discounted deals every day between November 23 and 30. Other retailers are also luring online shoppers in with some lucrative deals, including Whistles, which is boasting 30% off all items throughout Cyber Monday.

Jason Goldberger, president of Target.com, has commented in a recent blog post that, despite it not being the biggest online shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday sales “continue to climb”. He continued: “To today’s always-connected shoppers, who get served deals constantly via email, social and broadcast channels, events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday stand out even more because they know retailers are giving it their all – and that this one really counts.”

Reported by Grace Howard

Decoded Fashion - Weekly stories - Black Friday
Image source: thetimes.co.uk

The Black Friday shopping weekend saw 133.7 million people make purchases in-store and online over the four-day holiday weekend kicked off by Thanksgiving last week. Total revenue for the shopping weekend is expected to fall 11 per cent to $50.9 billion from $57.4 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s projections.

Many shoppers took advantage of pre Black Friday sales like Amazon, who saw a 26, 24, and 46 per cent increase in sales on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Saturday, starting its special offers a week early. Research group, ShopperTrak reported that the early introduction of promotions increased retailer traffic on Thanksgiving Day by 27.3 per cent, but reduced Black Friday’s by 5.6 per cent. Analytics firm, Retail Next found similar results and estimated in-store traffic levels fell by 12.5 per cent, and sales were down by 10.3 per cent over the weekend due to the early introduction of promotions.

Tiffany & Co., Dollar Tree Inc. and T.J. Maxx are among the brands that chose not to promote Black Friday deals in the US. Whilst in the UK, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Harrods and Liberty also opted-out, unlike British retailers House of Fraser and John Lewis. Instead, they created smaller promotions outside of the Black Friday banner, preferring to hold off until Boxing Day for their big sale.

Despite retailers choosing not to participate, Visa estimated that £300,000 ($568,000) was spent every minute in the UK and it expects to process 8.5 million British online transactions during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period. Kevin Jenkins, Visa’s managing director for the UK and Ireland, said: “Black Friday has become the UK’s biggest online shopping day and we’re forecasting £518 million to be spent this year.”

Mobile was a major revenue driver for retailers this year, especially for players like Amazon and Ebay who saw up to 57% of their total traffic come from a mobile device. IBM reported that nearly 47 per cent of total online traffic came from mobile devices throughout the shopping weekend, an increase of 20 per cent from last year. The world’s largest retailer by sales, Walmart, reported that mobile was responsible for more than 70 per cent of their total online traffic during the Black Friday weekend. Apple iOS users remain to be the most valuable customers to retailers with an average basket size of $127.34 and accounting for 20.2 per cent of total online sales.

Reported by Jessica Anuna