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Industry News

Published on November 7th, 2018 | by The GC Team

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Chasing Black Friday shoppers will push high street retailers into the red, says delivery firm

Home delivery specialist ParcelHero says High Street stores should not try to compete with the likes of Amazon by joining in Black Friday discounting, in a race to the bottom.

David Jinks, Head of Consumer Research at delivery specialist ParcelHero, said traditional high street stores can’t hope to make a profit matching pureplay online sellers’ Black Friday deals – instead, they should concentrate on everyday value, customer experience and emphasising staff expertise.

His comments come as DIY retailer B&Q joins the ranks of those bowing out of the annual discounting event which has changed the entire structure of retail’s ‘Golden Quarter’, a time when some traditionally made up to a third of their yearly profits.

The truth is beginning to dawn on town centre retailers that they can’t “out-Amazon Amazon,” said Jinks. “Black Friday shoppers expect rock-bottom prices but also the same level of service and expertise as every other day of the year – and that includes free returns.”

ParcelHero’s recent research revealed 50% of women’s clothing bought on Black Friday last year was returned, and 43% of B&Q customers said they “often or always returned items purchased in dramatic one-day sales such as Black Friday.

“If a retailer has already sacrificed most of their profit pursuing the Black Friday pound, returns will push that into a loss,” said Jinks.

“High street stores have wages and landlord rents to pay, overheads such as heating and electricity to cover, and, of course, exorbitant business rates to meet. As such, their cost base is higher than online ‘A stars’ such as Amazon, ASOS and AO.

“High street retailers shouldn’t seek to join in the Black Friday feeding frenzy when all the figures show that, long term, it is consistent good value, a great in-store experience, and knowledgeable, friendly staff that are the key to rebuilding high street sales.

“None of these things can be achieved if the majority of a store’s best deals are thrown into one day in a crowded, pressurised shopping environment. Town centre stores should ditch Black Friday sales that risk pushing them into the red.”

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