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How fashion fell in love with Black Friday

CluelessThe festive shopping season officially begins tomorrow, as retailers around the UK experience their busiest weekend of the year, beginning on Black Friday.

The date that started out as an industrial nickname in the US (post-Thanksgiving, shops would be at their fullest and flailing books would return to the black) Black Friday is now something of a global phenomenon, as retailers instigate discount wars in attempts to attract the most shoppers, and bargain-seekers will gamely punch each other, in fights for the last discounted television. Isn’t it just the most wonderful time of the year?

In the last few years, British fashion brands (i.e. the more civilised, fistfight-free types) have also discovered that America’s Black Friday falls at a most convenient time for them – an optimum four weeks before Christmas for present-buying, as well as striking the right moment to snap up a Christmas party outfit. As demand has surged year-on-year, it’s become a date that our labels just can’t ignore.

 ‘Black Friday has become an important date in our customer’s calendar,’ explains Charlotte Ellis, customer director at Karen Millen, who are offering 25% off everything in store and online, with extra discounts added to selected items. ‘She looks at all of her favourite brands and shops around more than she usually does, so we see a surge in traffic from our existing customer base as well as the new customers that the special offers attract. We definitely saw an increase in both sales and footfall on Black Friday last year.’

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Aakash Ghosh

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