NEWS

Asda Black Friday Opening Time To Be Less Chaotic In 2015 As Supermarket Ends 'War Zone' Sales

10/11/2015 11:46 | Updated 11 November 2015

Asda will not take part in this year's shopping bonanza known as Black Friday, saying "shopper fatigue" has set in.

The supermarket said shoppers were no longer as interested in "flash sales on big-ticket, non-essential items at Christmas".

The move comes one year after shoppers were said to be acting like "animals" in "war-zone"-like scenes. The frenzy was incapsulated by one battle seized upon by the media. A young woman at Asda's flagship Wembley store desperately gripped a 40in Polaroid TV which had been reduced by £80 as a group of young teens tried to snatch it from her.

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A woman clings to a television at a Asda store during Black Friday sales last year

Asda's owner, Walmart, is a big player in the Black Friday sales in the US and it first introduced the event to the UK in 2013.

Asda's chief executive Andy Clarke said the decision to "step away" from Black Friday was not about the "event itself".

The Huffington Post UK reported last week that the store was believed to be "significantly toning down its Black Friday involvement this year".

He explained: "Over the last two years we've developed an organised, well-executed plan, but this year customers have told us loud and clear that they don't want to be held hostage to a day or two of sales."

Instead of investing in one-off sales, Clarke said Asda will invest £26 million in savings across the seasonal shopping period.

John Lewis previously warned that UK firms would have to reconsider the heavy discounting of Black Friday, even though last year it brought the company its biggest trading week on record.

Earlier this year, managing director Andy Street said it was "more challenging profitability-wise" and questioned whether it was "right to concentrate trade so much in that one period".

"My personal hope is that this is the high water mark for Black Friday. I don't think we can put the genie back in the bottle but do we need to stoke that fire anymore? I personally hope not," he told the BBC.

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The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said retail sales in October were "disappointing", but attributed the downturn to customers delaying purchases in anticipation of Black Friday, which is due to take place on 27 November.

It said the total value of retail sales between 4 October and 31 October was 0.9% higher than a year earlier, down from a 3.9% increase in September.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: "October was a somewhat disappointing month overall for retailers.

"A number of categories which we'd typically expect to be popular on Black Friday saw a slowdown in October, suggesting that some shoppers may be holding out in the hope of some great deals at the end of November."

According to VoucherCodes.co.uk retailers are expected to make £1.39 billion on Black Friday alone - £966 million of this from online sales.

The website claims that Brits will spend £2,887,500 per minute on Black Friday and a total of £3.49 billion over the four-day shopping sale period. The report also reveals that UK shoppers will be responsible for two thirds of Black Friday sales in Europe.

Despite Asda citing "shopper fatigue", the company said an online survey by YouGov showed that one in five (22%) of shoppers were feeling positive about shopping on Black Friday this year. And 17 % of those who expect to shop on Black Friday plan to buy more than they did in 2014.

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  • Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Customers fall to the floor as they grapple for an LED television during a Black Friday discount sale at an Asda supermarket, operated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in the Wembley district of London, U.K., on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Black Friday has caught on in the U.K. and worldwide over the last few years as the rise of the Internet has made the event a global phenomenon, with customers always being just one click away from the deals offered by U.S. retailers online. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Employees try to control customers as they attempt to get the last remaining LED televisions during a Black Friday discount sale at an Asda supermarket, operated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in the Wembley district of London, U.K., on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Black Friday has caught on in the U.K. and worldwide over the last few years as the rise of the Internet has made the event a global phenomenon, with customers always being just one click away from the deals offered by U.S. retailers online. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Customers queue at a checkout counter to pay for the goods, including an LED television and a toaster, during a Black Friday discount sale at an Asda supermarket, operated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in the Wembley district of London, U.K., on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Black Friday has caught on in the U.K. and worldwide over the last few years as the rise of the Internet has made the event a global phenomenon, with customers always being just one click away from the deals offered by U.S. retailers online. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • A customer lifts an LED television above his head after removing it from a display area during a Black Friday discount sale at an Asda supermarket, operated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in the Wembley district of London, U.K., on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Black Friday has caught on in the U.K. and worldwide over the last few years as the rise of the Internet has made the event a global phenomenon, with customers always being just one click away from the deals offered by U.S. retailers online. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Employees try to control customers as they attempt to get the last remaining LED televisions during a Black Friday discount sale at an Asda supermarket, operated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in the Wembley district of London, U.K., on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Black Friday has caught on in the U.K. and worldwide over the last few years as the rise of the Internet has made the event a global phenomenon, with customers always being just one click away from the deals offered by U.S. retailers online. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • A customer prepares to load a boxed LED television set into her car after purchasing it during a Black Friday discount sale at an Asda supermarket, operated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in the Wembley district of London, U.K., on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Black Friday has caught on in the U.K. and worldwide over the last few years as the rise of the Internet has made the event a global phenomenon, with customers always being just one click away from the deals offered by U.S. retailers online. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Customers queue to purchase goods including LED televisions during a Black Friday discount sale at an Asda supermarket, operated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in the Wembley district of London, U.K., on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Black Friday has caught on in the U.K. and worldwide over the last few years as the rise of the Internet has made the event a global phenomenon, with customers always being just one click away from the deals offered by U.S. retailers online. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • A customer gestures as he queues to purchase goods including an LED televisions during a Black Friday discount sale at an Asda supermarket, operated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in the Wembley district of London, U.K., on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Black Friday has caught on in the U.K. and worldwide over the last few years as the rise of the Internet has made the event a global phenomenon, with customers always being just one click away from the deals offered by U.S. retailers online. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • North News
  • Dated: 28/11/2014 BLACK FRIDAY SALES MADNESS AT MIDNIGHT Black Friday fever hits the stores at midnight where frantic shoppers tear apart crates of TV's and empty the shelves of electrical goods including printers, irons and coffee machines within minutes at the Tesco store in Kingston Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne this morning.
  • North News
  • Dated: 28/11/2014 BLACK FRIDAY SALES MADNESS AT MIDNIGHT Black Friday fever hits the stores at midnight where frantic shoppers tear apart crates of TV's and empty the shelves of electrical goods including printers, irons and coffee machines within minutes at the Tesco store in Kingston Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne this morning.
  • WENN
  • Shoppers take advantage of the special deals offered during Black Friday at the Asda Superstore in Colindale
  • WENN
  • Shoppers take advantage of the special deals offered during Black Friday at the Asda Superstore in Colindale
  • WENN
  • Shoppers take advantage of the special deals offered during Black Friday at the Asda Superstore in Colindale
  • WENN
  • The first shoppers at Tesco Grimsby
  • WENN
  • The first shoppers at Tesco Grimsby
  • WENN
  • The first shoppers at Tesco Grimsby
  • WENN
  • The first shoppers at Tesco Grimsby
  • WENN
  • The first shoppers at Tesco Grimsby
  • Ray Tang/Rex
  • Customers fighting over discounted large television sets Black Friday Sales at Asda Wembley Superstore, London, Britain
  • Ray Tang/Rex
  • Customers fighting over discounted large television sets Black Friday Sales at Asda Wembley Superstore, London, Britain
  • Ray Tang/Rex
  • Customers fighting over discounted large television sets Black Friday Sales at Asda Wembley Superstore, London, Britain
  • Ray Tang/Rex
  • Customers fighting over discounted large television sets Black Friday Sales at Asda Wembley Superstore, London, Britain
  • Ray Tang/Rex
  • Customers fighting over discounted large television sets Black Friday Sales at Asda Wembley Superstore, London, Britain
  • Ray Tang/Rex
  • Customers fighting over discounted large television sets Black Friday Sales at Asda Wembley Superstore, London, Britain
  • Ray Tang/Rex
  • Customers fighting over discounted large television sets Black Friday Sales at Asda Wembley Superstore, London, Britain
  • Ray Tang/Rex
  • Customers fighting over discounted large television sets Black Friday Sales at Asda Wembley Superstore, London, Britain
  • Ray Tang/Rex
  • Customers fighting over discounted large television sets Black Friday Sales at Asda Wembley Superstore, London, Britain
  • Ray Tang/Rex
  • Customers fighting over discounted large television sets Black Friday Sales at Asda Wembley Superstore, London, Britain
  • Ray Tang/Rex
  • Customers fighting over discounted large television sets Black Friday Sales at Asda Wembley Superstore, London, Britain
  • Ray Tang/Rex
  • Customers fighting over discounted large television sets Black Friday Sales at Asda Wembley Superstore, London, Britain
    Customers fighting over discounted large television sets Black Friday Sales at Asda Wembley Superstore, London, Britain
    Shoppers queue outside a branch of Foot Locker on Oxford Street, London, as many retailers offer one day sales for 'Black Friday'.
    Shoppers queue outside a branch of Foot Locker on Oxford Street, London, as many retailers offer one day sales for 'Black Friday'.

Furthermore 22% revealed they will set money aside to spend on deals they spot on 27th November, and nearly one in ten "strategically plan" to start their Christmas shopping on Black Friday this year.

Black Friday was confirmed as the biggest online shopping day of the year in the UK for the first time in 2014 – with consumers parting with a whopping £810m - far exceeding the predicted spend of £363m.

Black Friday is immediately followed by Cyber Monday, when further discounts will be offered and the frenzy is expected to continue.

Here is where and how to pick up your bargains this year:

TESCO
Stores will close between 10pm and 12am to allow additional time for setting up, before opening at midnight (excluding stores which open at 6am). Store managers will be on the premises during the event to assist shoppers.

ASDA
Following hectic scenes at branches of the Walmart-owned retailer last year, there are rumours the store will be significantly toning down its Black Friday involvement this year. Previously, the store opened at 8am on Friday and added a whole extra day. The store will release further information via its website.

SAINSBURY'S
Main, front of store deals on electrical household items will run from the 27th until the 29th, while stocks last. Additional non-food deals will be available from the 25th until 1 December.

JOHN LEWIS
Any additional opening hours will be announced online and the store is promising to stand by its commitment to being Never Knowingly Undersold. Last year the retail giant opened its shops earlier and the London Oxford Street store extended its hours to 10pm.

GAME
GAME has not yet announced its opening hours, but discounts are already live on the website.

CURRYS PC WORLD
Currys PC World is expecting such a surge of interest on Black Friday it's inviting customers to register their interest weeks in advance. An online queueing system is in place and if you leave, you'll lose your place. Shoppers planning to visit stores on the day are reminded to get there early and to "bring plenty of coffee to keep you awake before the doors open."

ARGOS
Argos recommends registering for an online account ahead of the big day and advises that 3am-4am is the quietest and thus optimum time to snap up deals and beat the cyber rush.

B&Q
The home improvement retailer is expected to offer in-store-online deals from Friday morning, but hasn't yet revealed any early opening times. Shoppers are encouraged to browse online ahead of the day.

AMAZON
Amazon is promoting a series of Lightning Deals in the run-up to Black Friday. The deals are live for a limited period only and can be accessed through the website's Today's Deals section, by following the online store's social media accounts and signing up for deals emails. Shoppers can also install a mobile app for easy access and advance warnings.

APPLE
There's no news yet of just when Apple plans to start its Black Friday sales, but last year deals started at one minute past midnight and if the store follows the 2014 pattern, they'll continue until one minute to midnight 24-hours later, both online and in store.

B&M
B&M will be revealing products in its Black Friday sales from 23 November and sales are set to continue through until the 30th. Closing times will vary depending on which shop you visit, so check your local information.

BOOTS
Boots is taking part in Black Friday, though shoppers are advised to check the website for extended opening times and special deals.

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