Black Friday and Cyber Monday: The aftermath

A bargain hunter at the Westfield shopping centre in east London

Retail discount extravaganza Black Friday took place last Friday (November 28).

The discount day, which was worth £810m, over its initial forecast of £555m, seemed like a far cry from a lovely shopping spree and coffee date with mum.

The day represented an undignified battle. Shoppers were arrested, they climbed over shop displays, slid along floors, not to mention the people who were punched and kicked to the ground, the crowds who pushed through doors, the items that were yanked out of shoppers trolleys when they’re not looking and the attacks on members of staff – all for that 20 per cent discounted dress.

Perhaps those who cannot be trusted in a public shopping area, (those who turned shopping ugly), should have stayed in the comfort of their own home and used Cyber Monday, December 1, as an excuse to spoil themselves with must-have offers.

Cyber Monday is the lesser known, more civilised cousin of Black Friday. Cyber Monday allows shoppers to shop for their favourite brands online, getting in those very important last minute deals.

We know Black Friday and Cyber Monday have made some headlines for the brutal damage and chaos they have caused, but we wonder if retailers still profited from the pre-Christmas shopping weekend?

Shannon Nicholson, team leader at intu MetroCentre’s Topshop said: “The store absolutely smashed sales targets. Collectively Topshop and Topman took around 80,000 as a site on Black Friday alone, but our offers are running for five days. The atmosphere in store was intense, the staff were run ragged but the music was blasting and the fast pace got everybody through it!”

Penny Freeman, manager of New Look Team Valley, Gateshead added: “We made a great profit on Black Friday; there was a happy atmosphere, no fighting and it was very busy. However, Boxing Day is still our busiest and most profitable day of the year.”

On top of the £810m which was spent on Black Friday, as reported by Drapers, a further £720m was spent on Cyber Monday – Black Friday overshadowing purchases made by shoppers on Cyber Monday by £90m. Some websites struggled to cope with the number of shoppers, International Media in Retail Group calculated that the number of visits to retail websites reached 181m on Black Friday, almost 50 per cent more than its estimate of 124m.

Figures suggest shopping habits amongst the British public continues to grow online, while online retailer Amazon UK revealed they had their busiest ever day, recording orders for more than 5.5 million goods, meaning more than 60 items were sold per second.

John Lewis also revealed that Black Friday had driven its biggest ever sales week in its 150-year history.

Overall, Black Friday 2014 sales increased by 60 per cent from 2013, Cyber Monday with a total sales increase of 40 per cent.

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