Business

Black Friday deals in the UK are rarely genuine bargains - report

Posted November 26, 2019 6:09 a.m. EST

— What if the best deals aren't actually on Black Friday?

A survey of 83 products for sale during the shopping bonanza last year in the United Kingdom found that 95% were available at the same price or cheaper during the next six months.

Independent consumer advocacy group Which tracked the price of 49 products from consumer electronics retailer Currys PC World, 20 from Amazon, 12 from the John Lewis department store group and two from Boots, a health, beauty and pharmacy chain.

In addition to turning up better deals in the months after Black Friday, the study found that over 60% of the products had been offered for the same price or cheaper before November 29.

"Consistently low prices are not a bad thing — but they do mean you should feel less pressured to buy on Black Friday," the consumer group said.

"Take any offers described as 'time-limited' with a pinch of salt, as chances are it won't be the last opportunity you get to buy at that price," it recommended.

The study could dampen enthusiasm in Britain for Black Friday, which has been imported from the United States and embraced by shoppers and retailers alike over the past decade.

According to auditing firm PwC, 52% of UK consumers are interested in this year's Black Friday.

While there is skepticism over whether the bargains are genuine, Brits are expected to spend £224 ($288) on average during Black Friday and its online cousin, Cyber Monday. That's up £21 ($27) over 2018.

PwC said that participating in Black Friday is essential for tech and electronics retailers, for whom the weekend has overtaken the traditional UK sales on Boxing Day (December 26) as the biggest shopping event of the year.

Amazon said in a statement that it seeks to offer "great value thanks to low prices all year round."

"Our Black Friday Sale is about thousands of deals on a huge selection of products from every category across the site, at a time of year when we know saving money is important to our customers," it said.

"And the best thing about shopping online is that customers can easily compare prices, allowing them to make an informed purchase decision," added Amazon.

Boots, which is owned by the Walgreens Boots Alliance, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Currys PC World and John Lewis also did not respond.

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