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What does the growing backlash against Black Friday mean for retailers?

By The Drum | Editorial

Pi Datametrics

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November 30, 2018 | 3 min read

Brands, charities and even some retailers are questioning the annual bargain-hunting frenzy that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

What started in the U.S as a day of Christmas shopping after Thanksgiving, has turned into a global phenomenon, with many other countries participating in 24 hours – or in some cases a whole weekend - of frantic shopping.

Black Friday sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

This year was no different, with consumers spending a record £7billion in the UK over the weekend, and reports suggesting that Black Friday sales in Europe are up 32% compared to last year.

Yet despite the numbers looking strong and the weekend still being one of the most footfall-friendly times in a retailer’s calendar, the backlash against the annual shopping event is growing. Sustainable brands like Tom Cridland and charities like Greenpeace are leading the charge with initiatives like the launch of Make Something week, which encourages consumers to recycle, re-gift or repair items they already own, rather than buy something new.

In a further blow for physical retailers, bargain hunters are increasingly looking online for deals rather than hitting the high street. With brick and mortar stores facing an uncertain fate, and with sustainability an ever-growing factor for customers – what does the future look like for the annual sales-spree? Will Black Friday evolve to become an online-only event? What impact does it have on brands stepping back from one of the biggest sales weekends of the year?

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On December 5, The Drum & Pi Datametrics brought together industry experts to recap on the winners and losers from Black Friday 2018, and explored its impact on the global retail landscape and discuss their strategies for success in the future.

In this session Jon Earnshaw, CTO at Pi Datametrics and Alina Ghost, SEO manager at Amara discussed:

• The top performers on the day

• The online growth of Black Friday 2018

• The top searches of the day

• The search landscape composition every two hours, on the day

• The 6 steps to a successful Black Friday strategy in 2019

You can see the webinar video here.

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