• Up to 50% discounts planned for Black Friday, according to Royal Mail study

        • The majority of retailers who are participating in Black Friday sales this year are planning discounts of up to 50 per cent, according to research commissioned by Royal Mail.

          Around one in five plan to take part in the annual Black Friday sales event, which happens on the last Friday of November each year. However, many retailers are expected to begin discounting items during the week leading up to Black Friday extending to Cyber Week, the week commencing 28th November.

          The research, carried out by Yougov on behalf of Royal Mail, found that consumers could still be in line for big savings this year. 78 per cent of retailers, who plan to take part in the annual sales event, intend to offer discounts of up to 50 per cent on their products. Nearly a quarter of retailers participating in Black Friday this month say they would offer free gifts to shoppers spending over a certain amount, while nearly one in five plan to offer free shipping on all online purchases.

          Findings from the research suggest that the annual sales event could also be used by many retailers as a way to trial new products as part of a planned product entry strategy. Around one in ten said they planned to discount brand new products to generate interest in both the product and their business. To prepare for Black Friday, around 20 per cent of participating retailers have extended their working hours, 11 per cent have increased advertising and 10 per cent have employed new additional staff.

          Nearly half (45%) of retailers interviewed expect Black Friday to account for up to 50 per cent of their Christmas period sales. When asked how they expect this year’s sales to compare to last year, 35 per cent said they expect sales this year to equal that of last year, 12 per cent believe sales to be higher this year, while only 6 per cent think sales this year’s will be less than last year.

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