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In a couple of weeks retailers and customers will be getting ready for ‘Black Friday‘. However, large supermarket chain Asda -that saw an outbreak of violence emerge in last years ‘Black Friday‘ – will not be one of the business’s involved in the pre-Christmas sales. Video clips from Asda in ‘Wembley, north West London‘, highlighted the difficulty that the security staff were faced with – when it came to the crowd of shoppers fighting for discount televisions. Check out the clip below.

Tesco is just one of the retailers that will be taking part in ‘Black Friday’ this year, but is taking extra precautions to make sure there isn’t a repeat of last years chaotic events. Tesco said stores will be closed from 10pm until midnight, giving staff enough time to set up and managers will be there when the doors open to “help look after colleagues and customers“. Each store has been inspected to make sure there will be sufficient security guards and barriers or queuing systems in place. The amount of stock has also been increased in anticipation for the high demand of customers.

A spokesman for Tesco said: “Our ‘Black Friday’ event was incredibly popular last year and we know our customers really liked being able to pick up great deals for Christmas.”

John Lewis‘s commercial director Paula Nickolds also revealed last month that the department store would be taking part in Black Friday

Ms Nickolds said: “John Lewis has no choice. We are part of this whether we want to be or not.

“We are absolutely committed to our Never Knowingly Undersold pledge and this means we are part of this event. We are anticipating that ‘Black Friday’ will be bigger than ever this year.”

Asda claims that their customers are more interested in price reductions on Christmas food and drink rather than the big sales. Asda is the first notable retailer to not partake in ‘Black Friday‘ – that is now considered an inescapable event for UK retail.

The Walmart-owned supermarket, is recognised for bringing ‘Black Friday‘ to the UK in 2013. The supermarket announced today that £26 million will be invested in to long-term sales instead of the special offers for ‘Black Friday‘ – that caused havoc in several of the supermarkets last year. ‘Black Friday‘ will begin on ‘Friday, November 27th‘ this year, but some shops will begin a whole week of sales from ‘Monday November 23rd‘ leading up to ‘Black Friday’.

Asda received critical remarks on how they dealt with the incidents last year. Nevertheless president and chief executive of Asda Andy Clarke, said the choice to not partake in ‘Black Friday‘ was not due to the nature of the event, but customers demanding offers on Christmas food and drink and household essentials.

Mr Clarke said: “Customers have told us loud and clear that they don’t want to be held hostage to a day or two of sales.

“With an ever-changing retail landscape, now more than ever we must listen carefully to exactly what our shoppers want and be primed and ready to act the minute their needs change.”

“When it comes to putting customers first, Asda has always led the way, which is why we’re just as confident in our decision to step away from ‘Black Friday’ as we were in introducing it to the UK.”

According to research by VoucherCodes.co.uk, it is estimated that £1.39billion will be spent in total throughout the day – equivalent to £2,887,500 per minute.

Bryan Roberts, retail insights director at Kantar Retail, said: “Black Friday is quite expensive for retailers to operate in terms of sourcing products, extra security and disruption to staff schedules.”

“It’s clearly great for getting shoppers into stores but from a retailer’s point of view it’s deemed as being slightly too disruptive.”

“This is a courageous move by Asda but, having looked at what their customers actually want, they feel it’s the right one for them.”

Sophie McCarthy, retail analyst at Conlumino, added: “The real focus for grocers right now is stabilising their balance sheet, so ‘Black Friday’ won’t help them at all with this.”

Although ‘Black Friday‘ may be good in terms of putting money in to the economy, what will this mean for high street stores? Given the mayhem that occurred last year, will the extra security help and prevent brawls? The violence that erupted last year was completely out of hand and climbing over others for technology just didn’t seem worth the time. Is ‘Black Friday‘ all it’s cracked up to be? or could we do without it?


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