by Emma Munbodh
It’s the sale of the year – or so the high street claims – but Marks & Spencer has basically announced it’s bowed out of Black Friday for good.
The annual clear-out, led by mammoth chains Argos, Amazon and Currys PC World, saw firms rack up millions of pounds in sales last year – at its peak Currys took in five orders a second, while Argos reported 18 transactions a second.
And this year consumer appetite is set to hit another record with Brits expected to splurge a mammoth £4.5 billion over the 24 hour event, according to price comparison site Finder. That’s compared to £2 billion last year.
But Marks & Spencer has said it won’t be buying into the retail bonanza.
In a conference speech, M&S chief executive Steve Rowe recently said the chain would not be participating in Black Friday for the second year running, claiming it merely “sucks sales forward”.
He said: “We didn’t do it last year either. When we did do it, we found it sucked sales forward. Customers are more interested in different types of technology, like TVs, which we don’t sell.”
Black Friday has traditionally been about shoppers cashing in on cheap technology – in 2014 it was carnage at Asda over its limited time only cheap TVs.
In fact, a One Poll survey by Purch this month found 41% of people planning to shop this Black Friday will be investing in video games, tablets and TVs, which could shed some light on M&S’s decision to pull-out.