Black Friday: News and Updates ( News New York )

Credit…Henry Nicholls/Reuters

LONDON – There may be no Thanksgiving holiday or long holiday across the Atlantic, but Europeans don’t stop flocking to the shopping streets and markets in search of good deals.

Black Friday began to catch on in Europe years ago, with one-day sales of electronic goods and home appliances. These days, companies consider it one of the biggest days of the retail calendar, with discounts across the board, on clothing, food, theater tickets, travel packages and the like. Sales in Britain often last throughout the month of November, as people take advantage of the discounts, pushing their holiday shopping forward.

However, this holiday season in European businesses — usually a large part of annual revenues — may be less good than usual. With rising energy costs, mortgage payments and retail prices, consumers have less money to spend on holiday gifts. Many imported goods have become more expensive due to the pound and the euro being weaker compared to the dollar.

That pressure may push shoppers to focus their purchases on Friday. Jessica Distler, partner and managing director of The Boston Consulting Group in Berlin, and author of a recent report on Black Friday, said economic concerns are likely to drive European consumers to do more shopping on Black Friday to get the best deals.

“More focus on customer offers that you care about and spend less budget,” he said.

European consumers said that this year will be compared to last year, according to a survey of the Boston Consulting Group of more than 7,000 consumers in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The survey, which also polled more than 2,000 consumers in Australia and the United States, found that only US consumers said their policy had increased since last year.

In Britain, on average, consumers said they expected to spend 18 percent less on holiday shopping than last year, as they cut back on light goods due to price increases, the survey found.

Even as its popularity grew, Black Friday shopping in Europe lacked the same frenetic energy as in the United States, said Tom Holder, a spokesman for the British Retail Consortium, a trade association for British retailers.

“It’s never that kind of American, let’s shut the door and on all charges,” Mr. Holder said. “He could have done it with a few stores, but it wasn’t, let’s go completely nuts, kind of thing.”

In Britain, where annual inflation peaked at 11 percent in October, there are already signs that this holiday season could be fast approaching for retailers. Retail sales volumes (excluding automotive fuel) fell 6.7 percent last month compared to October last year, according to a report published last week by Britain’s Office for National Statistics.

Black Friday came as businesses in Europe were also plagued by falling shortages and had to draw down their wages to staff. Three-quarters of British companies were hit by labor shortages last year, according to a survey of 325 firms published last month by the Confederation of British Industry, a trade association. Almost half of the affected companies are unable to meet customer demands, the study found.


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