The American shopping phenomenon that is Black Friday is slowly making its way abroad, with the UK and France the latest retail markets to imitate the bargain bonanza that sometimes tips into shopping frenzy.
November 28 marks the off for the Christmas shopping season in the US, and the big European stores increasingly want us to do the same, tempting us with slashed prices on big-ticket items.
“This is the first season where we haven’t had some kind of costs pressure, be it food prices, gas prices are actually down for a change, housing prices are actually flattening out, a lot of things for once working in the consumer’s favour,” said retail analyst Paul Swinand.
Europe may be a different story as many consumers there have to grapple with high unemployment and low wages, but some British online retailers say they are expecting their biggest-ever week.
Online sales enter their peak period right now and their share of the total Christmas spend is increasing by leaps and bounds. A forecast 35 billion euros will be spent online in Europe between now and the New Year.