Retailers may have to ‘rethink’ Black Friday sales because of their impact on Christmas spending, Sheffield’s city centre manager has said.
The American tradition of heavy discounts the day after the fourth Thursday in November came to Britain in force this year – and resulted in reports of punch-ups in the aisles in some stores, with shoppers desperate to get their hands on bargains.
In Sheffield shoppers were seen fighting over cut price games consoles at the Tesco Extra store on Saville Street, Spital Hill, as people ransacked the aisles in seconds.
Richard Eyre, Sheffield city centre manager, said although retailers gained extra sales in the run up to Christmas they did not spend anymore overall, with football down at the traditionally busy period.
“Black Friday ate into Christmas,” he said.
“Footfall was doing well until the snow hit on Boxing Day and after, which dramatically hit the city centre. Retailers might have to rethink Black Friday in future.
“Although retailers saw good sales on Black Friday, that ate into sales at Christmas, so people were spending the same amount, just at different times.
“Retailers take on extra staff for Christmas expecting it to be busy, so if spending is being moved to November then it might mean they have too many staff in empty shops at Christmas.
“If retailers want Black Friday to continue they might have to rethink their approach.”