Black Friday deals spell the death of January sales, says London Business School graduate

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Black Friday deals spell the death of January sales as we know them, warns Elizabetta Camilleri, London Business School MBA graduate and founder of SalesGossip. Retailers who are late to the party will face a bleak January.

Elizabetta Camilleri, London Business School MBA graduate and founder of SalesGossip, said: “Retailers don’t want to be left behind, and so many are jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon and starting their sales period early. But this could spell the end of traditional January sales as we know them.

“Instead of waiting until January, shoppers are increasingly buying their fair share of festive bargains ahead of Christmas.

“Year-on-year, Black Friday is growing in popularity among retailers. At SalesGossip, we are predicting more than a quarter (27%) growth in retailers offering Black Friday deals this year, from 458 in 2014 to 580 retailers in 2015. The majority of retailers taking part are high street and premium high street brands.

“By comparison, website traffic and online purchases via SalesGossip in the first week of January this year only increased by a steady 30% and 40% respectively on 2014 figures. While we did see growth, the figures are minimal compared to the Black Friday boom.

“Black Friday is causing consumers to change their shopping habits. Last year, traffic to SalesGossip on BlackFriday increased fourfold. Similarly, the number of online purchases increased five times.

“Retailers need to be savvy. It is not only about capitalising on the Black Friday weekend, it is about maintaining the momentum throughout the festive period. Many retailers are becoming much more strategic in their promotions. Following Black Friday, they are offering deals throughout the first week of December and never really switch these off right up to January – they just keep changing the type of promotions available.

“Retailers who kick-start their promotions in January typically offer 25% to 30% off deals. However, by this point, retailers who started their promotions early are already offering customers 60% to 75% off the remnants of their stock.

“Retailers late to the party are finding they have to ramp up their promotions quickly to entice customers looking for a post-Christmas bargain, or risk missing out on vital sales.”