In Brief

One in 20 Black Friday deals are genuine

Consumer group Which? says the shopping event is ‘all hype’

Only one in 20 Black Friday deals are genuine, according to damning new research by Which?.

After checking 83 items on sale on Black Friday last year, the consumer group found that nearly all were cheaper or available for the same price at other times of the year. Announcing the finding, it claimed the annual shopping event was “all hype”.

The consumer champion told The Sun it is concerned that shoppers are at risk of being confused by Black Friday offers that might not be as good as they sound. The Guardian added that there are “signs of fatigue” among both shoppers and retailers over the annual shopping sale.

One example Which? highlighted was the Samsung soundbar – a supposed Currys PC World Black Friday deal last year at £299. Researchers found that the price dropped by a further £49 during the month after Black Friday and was priced at £279.97 on at least 13 occasions in the following six months.

At John Lewis, a De’Longhi coffee machine was offered at £399 on Black Friday, but it was then discounted to £368, and Amazon priced its Echo (2nd Gen) at 39% cheaper on Black Friday, when it had been cheaper on at least 13 occasions before the big date.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said that “the prevalence of discounting from retailers throughout the year” and “scepticism surrounding whether Black Friday discounts are better than those being offered generally” means consumers are “paying less attention to this period as a whole”.

In response to the claims, Currys PC World said: “When we launched our Black Friday event last year 40% of those products were the lowest price they had ever been.”

John Lewis said: “We offer our customers the best value on the high street all year round, including during the Black Friday period.”

Amazon commented: “We seek to offer our customers great value thanks to low prices all year round as well as a number of fantastic seasonal deals events.”

In a separate blow for Black Friday, the online security company, SonicWall, told Retail Insight Network that year-on-year ransomware attacks in the UK during the seven-day sale period multiplied by 12 times last year.

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