Black Friday does fall very early this year: Amazon is already running a bargain Prime Day and rival Walmart is offering “exceptional discounts” for four days. A foretaste of things to come, or are they rushing before wallets close?
4.1 billion in two days
Amazon has been repeating its July Prime Day all over again this week: the “Prime Early Access Sale” yesterday and today is a two-day bargain fest with exclusive discounts and new product launches for Amazon Prime members. In doing so, the online retailer wants to “help consumers better diversify their end-of-year purchases”. Or in other words: let people spend money now, before it runs out later.
The second Prime Day may well bring in 4.1 billion dollars, stock market house Jefferies estimates according to the Financial Times: a welcome bonus now that Amazon is seeing online sales fall after peaking during the corona pandemic. Although that remains a lot less than the estimated 12 billion dollars in sales during the first Amazon Prime Day this year, which is said to have been the best ever.
Other retailers cannot be left behind. Bol.com is this week offering “lots and lots of Select deals” for those who take out a paying membership, while in the United States Walmart was running a “Rollbacks and More” discount campaign for non-food products from 10 to 13 October. Target, in turn, has been capitalising on Thanksgiving with deals between 6 and 8 October.
Black or skinny Friday?
So is there anything to expect from Black Friday at the end of November? Less and less, concludes a US study. The shopping holiday has been around much longer and more strongly in the US than in Europe, but now seems to be on its way out. Quite apart from current inflationary pressures and recession fears, Black Friday contributes less to participating retailers’ annual sales every year. In 2019, retailers derived on average 9% of their sales from the bargain period, in 2020 only 5.82% and in 2021 it was 5.18%.
Although the figures from previous years may be distorted by the corona pandemic, another factor is that consumers are gradually looking to consume more sustainably and consciously, while there are already so many discount offers at other times. Those who do buy on Black Friday, then, would primarily be genuine bargain hunters and not enduring customers.
This year, the pressure on purchasing power is added to that. British supermarket giant Tesco already announced it expects a different Christmas than usual: people might buy fewer parcels and stay budget-friendly at home instead of celebrating at restaurants. The same message was heard at Walmart. So all the more reason to pick up what you can now…