Black Friday flurry for UK retailers in discounting push

Asda shoppers Some Asda customers had queued from 5am

Related Stories

A flurry of promotions tied to Black Friday have caused a frenzy for some UK retailers, with a fight breaking out in one Asda shop apparently over discounted televisions.

Asda, owned by the US consumer giant Wal-Mart, said it sold 10,000 televisions in one hour of trading.

John Lewis also reported a spike in sales, especially online.

US shops traditionally offer big discounts on the Friday after the US Thanksgiving holiday.

Andrew Moore, Asda's chief merchandising officer said that the reaction to the promotion had been "phenomenal".

Other best sellers for the company were tablets, with 11,000 sold in one hour.

The rush to secure the best deal, however, led to one women ending up in hospital. The ambulance service confirmed that it was called to an incident at a west Belfast shopping centre, where a fight had broken out at an Asda branch.

The woman was taken to hospital with a suspected broken wrist after a scene that was described by one onlooker as "bedlam".

Several hundred people had queued outside the shop from 5am for the promotion which started three hours later.

There were also reports of scuffles inside the Asda Superstore at Cribbs Causeway near Bristol, leading to the arrest of a 35 year old man.

Another shopper in Birkenhead spoke of "absolute chaos" as people pushed and jostled to get to the discounted goods.

Asda said that the safety of its customers was of "vital importance", and that it had put in place full security teams and "extra colleagues to help assist customers in the aisles".

'Huge event'

Other, UK-owned companies have also tried to emulate what is the busiest shopping day of the year in the US.

John Lewis offered 50% off some electrical items, and 25% off a selection of televisions amongst other promotions.

Ed Connolly, buying director for John Lewis electricals said that "customers respond well to this day in the UK".

Mr Connolly added that online traffic from midnight to 8am was 323% higher than a "normal Friday" in November.

He said: "From 7am to 8am, we saw a 1,340% spike in mobile traffic. It's clear that Black Friday has stretched across the pond and is no longer just an American phenomenon."

Online retail giant Amazon has also been discounting some of its goods on its UK site.

However, it is not just the larger chains and department stores that are adopting the opportunity for Black Friday promotions.

Maternity brand Isabella Oliver began its Black Friday promotions in the early hours of Friday morning.

The company said that it had seen a 1,200% increase in online traffic by 7am.

Stretching budgets

Retail consultant Caroline Wilde told the BBC that there was a "growing awareness" of the day in the UK, although it was likely to be "an online phenomenon".

"It's very early days for Black Friday," she said, adding that trends do filter through from the US to the UK consumer.

In previous years Black Friday has resulted in injuries and deaths in the US

"We've had an American style Halloween in the UK now for over a decade".

Lou Ellerton, a senior consultant at The Value Engineers, said the day would be especially welcome "in this current economic climate, as families are looking for anything that will make their cash go further".

She said many UK consumers were delaying big purchases in the run up to Christmas to take advantage of these sales promotions.

Large crowds

For the first time this year some US shops opened on Thursday, Thanksgiving itself.

The chief executive of department store chain Macy's said that by 8pm on Thursday there were 15,000 people waiting outside its flagship US shop in New York.

It has been controversial for shops to open on Thanksgiving, with some workers' organisations complaining employees would be denied the opportunity to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with their families.

John Lewis window sale poster John Lewis in Oxford Street jumps on the Black Friday bandwagon

As shopping on Friday got well underway, many US companies were reporting large crowds.

Toys R Us chief merchandising operator Richard Barry said that there were healthy crowds outside its stores.

"It was very steady overall, good crowds, lots of families shopping together," he said.

The National Retail Federation in the US said that it expected retail sales to be up 4% for the last two months of 2013 on the year before, and analysts expect more big discounting from retailers to lure consumers through shop doors.

Another promotion-driven day on 2 December, dubbed Cyber Monday, will see many discounted goods offered online, as companies attempt to boost pre-Christmas revenues further.

Last year, Amazon said that it sold 41 items a second on Cyber Monday.

In the US, the research firm Comscore said consumers spent $1.5bn (£0.9bn) on Cyber Monday, up 20% from 2011.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories

RSS

Business Live

  1.  
    16:47: IAG Aer Lingus deal
    Aer Lingus planes

    British Airways owner IAG is in with a chance of buying Ryanair's stake in Aer Lingus, Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary has said. "Our position is: our stake is available for sale, if someone comes up with the right offer that the board considers to be acceptable," he told reporters.

     
  2.  
    16:37: Nobel Peace Prize chair
    Kaci Kullmann Five (right)

    Kaci Kullmann Five, (right) a former leader of the Conservative Party, will take over from Thorbjoern Jagland as Nobel Peace Prize chair. Mr Jagland attracted some criticism after a 2010 award to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo which made relations between Oslo and Beijing a touch frosty.

     
  3.  
    16:18: Barclays and past conduct

    BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed has said the past misconduct of Barclays staff stalks the bank after Barclays took a £750m provision for possible future fines for foreign exchange manipulation.

     
  4.  
    16:12: Nobel Peace Prize chair demoted
    Thorbjoern Jagland

    For the first time in its history, the committee that picks the Nobel Peace Prize has demoted its chairman. Thorbjoern Jagland, a former Norwegian prime minister and Labour Party member, was demoted to being a mere committee member after ring wing opponents gained a majority on the committee. Dynamite, as its inventor Alfred Nobel could have said.

     
  5.  
    15:51: US car sales
    Ford F-150

    Meanwhile, a lot of car makers saw increased US sales in February. General Motors' sales rose 4.2% compared with last year, and Nissan's sales were up 2.7%. Ford's US sales were down 1.9%, however, as dealers lacked the inventory to meet demand for the new F-150 pickup truck (pictured).

     
  6.  
    15:37: Cat economics
    Cats crowd the harbour on Aoshima Island

    So what happens when the feline population of a small Japanese island explodes, outnumbering the human population by five to one, but runs out of rodents to keep them going? Well, the cats start to attract tourists... Watch this short BBC video on Aoshima, which has been nicknamed "Cat Island".

     
  7.  
    15:23: Morrisons ex-tax head sentenced

    Former group treasurer and head of tax at Morrisons, Paul Coyle, has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for insider dealing, the Financial Conduct Authority has said. Mr Coyle was also ordered to pay £15,000 towards prosecution costs and a confiscation order of £203,234, it added.

     
  8.  
    Geneva Motor Show 15:16: Via Email Russell Hotten Business reporter, BBC News
    Bentley jacket

    Car shows are not just about cars. Oh no. The venerable Bentley is showcasing a new clothing range. Leather jackets for £3,500, cashmere scarves for £149, and ladies handbags for between £3,800 and £4,800. Still, if you can afford a Bentley, you can certainly afford a new handbag.

     
  9.  
    Beef ban 14:59: Via Email Simon Atkinson Editor, India Business Report

    In the hours since the Maharashtra state government banned beef there's been a run on the red meat and it's nowhere to be found in the Mumbai butcher's shops we've visited. Was quite looking forward to a last-gasp beef bourguignon. High steaks.

     
  10.  
    14:45: Fiat Chrysler US sales
    Fiat logo

    More news for car lovers. Fiat Chrysler says it saw a 5.6% US sales gain last month to report its best February in eight years. The company sold 163,586 cars and trucks, led by the Jeep brand, which saw a 21% sales increase.

     
  11.  
    14:31: Barclays results - boss's bonus

    Mr Jenkins told the BBC that he only accepted 57% of the total amount on offer when he took his £1.1m bonus (so he could have had £1.9m, maths fans).

     
  12.  
    14:18: Barclays results - boss's bonus
    Antony Jenkins

    Barclays boss Antony Jenkins has explained to the BBC why he deserved his £1.1m bonus: "We made very significant progress on our capital position, on cost, on the performance of the business units themselves, and I think, not withstanding some of the conduct issues, it was appropriate to accept it."

     
  13.  
    14:02: Switchover Tom Espiner Business reporter

    So that's goodbye from Howard Mustoe, and goodbye from Chris Johnston - more from Chris tomorrow morning. Expect a little more Barclays news to come, and perhaps more updates from the Geneva Motor Show.

     
  14.  
    Via Email Russell Hotten Business reporter, BBC News
    Edag

    The Geneva Motor Show is known for its wacky concept cars and renowned German auto engineering house Edag has brought along a 3D printed sports car. The shell is 52 bits covered in a skin, and ultra light. Those colours can change depending on your mood. "3D is the future," says marketing director Christoph Horvath. We shall see about that.

     
  15.  
    13:41: Barclays results
    Jenkins

    BBC Business Editor Kamal Ahmed has interviewed Barclays chief Antony Jenkins. He agrees with Chancellor George Osborne that those found guilty of manipulating markets should get a criminal sentence. "Having that criminal sanction would be helpful in ensuring the City of London delivers for all of its stakeholders." He added: "It's possible to get very angry about these matters, about what you see happening."

     
  16.  
    13:30: HSBC scandal
    HSBC

    HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver gets a second trip to Westminster on Monday now the Public Accounts Committee has decided to call him, independent non-executive director (and BBC chairman) Rona Fairhead, as well as Chris Meares - former general manager of HSBC's global private banking arm - to give evidence on Monday afternoon. The committee will also question HMRC official Edward Troup and former HMRC boss Dave Hartnett.

     
  17.  
    13:15: Oil prices
    Oil flare

    Brent crude is up $1.60 a barrel to $61.18 on the back of fighting in Libya, stronger stock markets and firm demand. The gap between Brent and US oil narrowed slightly as West Texas Intermediate rose $1 to $50.59 a barrel.

     
  18.  
    12:58: Twitter results
    Lilly Allen

    Given our celebs' love of tweeting what they had for breakfast and other life-changing events, perhaps it's no surprise that Britain is Twitter's biggest market outside the US. Its UK revenues more than doubled last year to $140.3m (£91.3m), as the company strives to boost profits, the Evening Standard reports. However, Twitter still made an annual loss of $577m. Fact of the Day: Lilly Allen (pictured) has more than 5m followers on Twitter.

     
  19.  
    Treasury Committee Via Twitter Mark Broad Economics reporter, BBC News

    Carney criticises Lord Grabiner's manner in evidence to Select Comm - Grabiner was author of the report into FX conduct of Bank of England.

     
  20.  
    12:30: Barclays results
    Frances O'Grady

    TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady is not impressed with Antony Jenkins' bumper pay package for 2014, particularly given the provisions it has made for potential fines. "It is hard to have a positive view of any organisation that pays its boss £5.5m in a single year - a sum that would take a full-time worker on the minimum wage 465 years to earn," she says.

     
  21.  
    12:13: Market update

    After earlier gains, the FTSE 100 share index in London fell 6.39 points to 6,934.25. In Frankfurt, the Dax has followed the same pattern, down 7.4 points to 11,402.9. The Cac in Paris slipped just under 3 points to 4,914.4.

    • Barclays dips 3.3% after unveiling more provisions for PPI and rate-fixing investigations
    • Tullow Oil bounced back 4% after falling 7.7% yesterday on concerns that a boundary dispute between Ivory Coast and Ghana could delay a project off west Africa
     
  22.  
    PPI Via Email Kevin Peachey Personal finance reporter, BBC News

    Barclays today became the latest bank to add to the amount of money set aside for PPI mis-selling cases. The total bill for the top five banks in the UK is now an eye-watering £24.4bn, says consumer group Which?.

     
  23.  
    Fiat-Chrysler Via Email Russell Hotten Business reporter, BBC News
    Sergio Marchionne

    Fiat-Chrysler's boss thinks it is great that Google and Apple are moving into car technology - but it also makes him feel uncomfortable. Sergio Marchionne (pictured here with a Ferrari) said at the Geneva motor show that the industry needs "disruptive interlopers. It's a good thing. But when you're the guy whose life is being disrupted, it's not necessarily a good feeling."

     
  24.  
    11:29: Australian rates
    Sydney

    The Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates unchanged at 2.25% today after cutting by a quarter of a point in January for the first time in 18 months. Further easing remains on the cards to help drive down the Aussie dollar and drive growth. Greg Gibbs, an RBS analyst, said "unusually clear guidance" meant the RBA is keen to keep a lid on the dollar.

     
  25.  
    Geneva motor show Via Email Russell Hotten Business reporter

    Aston Martin unveils plans to broaden its range of cars to attract younger and female buyers. New sports cars, a four-seater - and a small SUV - are all in the pipeline. The British carmaker may be synonymous with James Bond, but its buyers are frequently middle-aged enthusiasts. "The brand has to be relevant," says boss Andy Palmer. "Less dependent on a narrow portfolio and one type of customer."

     
  26.  
    11:01: Treasury Committee
    Carney

    Mr Habgood says he never thought that the terms of reference for Lord Grabiner's inquiry were restrictive. Mr Carney agrees that the barrister was able to investigate freely and had unlimited resources to do so.

     
  27.  
    10:49: Treasury Committee

    The Bank's internal investigation, led by barrister Lord Grabiner, began in March 2014 following allegations that a senior member of staff had been told of "attempts to move" the foreign exchange market. It resulted in the Bank's chief foreign currency exchange dealer, Martin Mallett, being dismissed in November. Mr Carney told MPs that Mr Mallett was aware of possible misconduct into the forex market but failed to share that information with his superiors: "He did not escalate these issues."

     
  28.  
    10:43: M&A statistics

    The Office for National Statistics says the number of mergers and acquisitions involving UK companies fell to the lowest figure since 1987 last year. "The downward trend of domestic M&A may be a result of UK political instability as UK businesses experienced uncertainties about the outcome of the Scottish referendum, held in September 2014, and the impending general election," the ONS said.

     
  29.  
    10:27: Treasury Committee

    Bank of England governor Mark Carney and chairman of its court, Anthony Habgood, are giving evidence to MPs on the Treasury committee about the Bank's own foreign exchange market investigation. Labour MP John Mann asks how deeply ingrained the concept of a "nod and a wink culture" is at the Bank. Mr Habgood admits there is a need to professionalise the working practices.

     
  30.  
    Via Email Beef ban Simon Atkinson Editor, India Business Report
    Water buffalo

    Bad news for beef farmers - and for those who like a burger. Cows are holy to Hindus - slaughtering the animals was already illegal. But in Maharashtra state, that ban has now been extended to bulls and bullocks. The beef industry here says thousands of jobs in will be lost. Water buffalo (like the pair above) survive though - or rather - don't …. so the beef substitute will still be available.

     
  31.  
    09:54: China trade Radio 5 live
    Shoes

    Parcelforce Worldwide's ales and marketing director, Helen Wylde, was on 5 live earlier talking about sales to China from the UK. Baby milk, children's clothing, shoes, toys, educational books from Britain all sell well in China. The most odd? Bicycles. Chinese buyers like trusted brands.

     
  32.  
    09:37: Construction data
    Pinnacle

    The purchasing managers' index for the construction sector rose 1 point to 60.1 in February, defying expectations for a fall as growth picked up across the housing, commercial and civil engineering sectors. Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, says some construction companies think the general election outcome could prove a "temporary bump in the road" for new work.

     
  33.  
    09:21: Paddy Power results
    World Cup

    It's a lucky day for Paddy Power investors after the company said it will return €392m cash to shareholders after failing to find any potential bid targets. Operating profit jumped by a better than expected 19% to €163.8m for 2014, helped by last summer's World Cup, which was won by Germany.

     
  34.  
    Barclays results Via Email Chirantan Barua Bernstein Research

    Dividends were held flat for the fourth quarter at 3.5p as compared to last year and came in lower than consensus at 3.7p. Non-progressive nature will be taken as marginally negative and also highlights that the bank's key focus continues to be capital build.

     
  35.  
    08:53: Business Matters World Service
    Royal Enfield

    Can India's cities become cleaner and greener? Business Matters on the World Service is live from Chennai all week. In the first programme Fergus Nicoll asks whether the infrastructure is fit for purpose - and visits an Indian success story with its roots in Britain: Royal Enfield motorcycles. Listen here.

     
  36.  
    08:41: Barclays
    Barclays shares

    Shares in Barclays are down 2.3%, or 6.15p, at 256.6p in morning trading in London. The stock has not moved much over the past 12 months given that it's just 8.7p higher than the price on March 4 last year.

     
  37.  
    08:27: Ford BBC Radio 4
    Ford Mustang

    Jim Farley, Ford's European president, tells presenter Simon Jack on Today that he hopes Britain does not leave the European Union. One in three engines made by the company comes from the UK, which he described as the "centrepiece" of its global enterprise. Asked about the Russian market, Farley said Ford believed in it in the long term but admitted that some short-term adjustments were required because of the volatile economy.

     
  38.  
    08:14: Taylor Wimpey results
    house

    If you're a house builder and you're not making piles of money, then something is very wrong. Fortunately for Taylor Wimpey that is not the case. Annual pre-tax profits are up two thirds to £450m before one-off deductions as 12,454 homes were completed across the UK - 758 more than in 2013 - with an 11.5% rise in average selling price to £213,000.

     
  39.  
    07:56: Barclays results
    Barclays

    While Mr Jenkins takes his first annual bonus with Barclays, the overall 2014 bonus pool for the bank is down £520m to £1.86bn. Most of the total - £1.05bn - goes to the investment bank. Its capital ratio, a measure of strength against unexpected losses, is up to 10.3% from 9.1%.

     
  40.  
    07:44: Barclays results BBC Radio 4
    Jenkins

    Barclays chief Antony Jenkins is on Today. The bank is the healthiest it has been since the financial crisis, he says. Changing culture at the bank takes a long time, Mr Jenkins adds, but the "vast majority" of his 130,000 bankers "want to do the right thing". He is taking a bonus of £1.1m after the "huge amount of progress" the bank has made. Asked about the topic du jour, Mr Jenkins says he pays all his tax in the UK and as a US green card holder.

     
  41.  
    07:37: Barclays results

    Barclays wrote down the value of its education, social housing and local authority loan portfolio by £935m. Last year the portfolio was valued at just less than £16bn, but at that time, the lender reclassified the loans as "level 3" assets. That's City-speak for loans you cannot value easily because they don't sell very often.

     
  42.  
    07:24: Direct Line results
    Direct Line website

    It's been a good 2014 for Direct Line, with pre-tax profits up 12% to £456.8m and a windfall of £430m from the sale of its international business. Shareholders will pocket total dividends of 27.2p per share, up from 20.6p in 2013. Harvey Keitel probably pocked a pretty penny too for featuring in its TV ads.

     
  43.  
    07:16: Barclays results

    Antony Jenkins will take his first bonus as chief executive of the lender: £1.1m. The bank also said it would increase its provision for payment protection insurance (PPI) by £200m for the last three months of 2014, taking the year's total to £1.1bn. Excluding these provisions and other things the bank considers one-offs, pre-tax profit rose 12% to £5.5bn. But including the nasties, the figure sank 21% to £2.26bn.

     
  44.  
    07:03: Barclays results
    bank

    Barclays have posted their 2014 results. They have set aside an extra £750m after those investigations for foreign exchange manipulation, taking the pot to £1.25bn.

     
  45.  
    06:53: Barclays BBC Radio 4
    Barclays

    Chris Wheeler, of Atlantic Equities, has also popped up on Today. He tells Simon Jack that Barclays is doing only "averagely well ... it's still work in progress". He expects pre-tax profits to be about £5.2bn when the bank reports its annual results at 7am.

     
  46.  
    06:35: Markets performance Radio 5 live

    Justin Urquhart-Stewart of 7 Investments is still on 5 live. "We are dealing with companies that make a profit and make things," he says of the Nasdaq's rally. The dotcom boom was based on companies that failed to make money, although "we have to be wary" because markets in 2015 are gorged on cheap money and cheap debt.

     
  47.  
    06:23: Barclays results Radio 5 live

    Chris Wheeler of Atlantic Equities is talking about Barclays. £5.2bn pretax profits are on the cards for the bank in its annual results, he estimates - a tad ahead of last year's result. However, "it's the return on equity that counts", he says. The bank is struggling to make 10%, which for a high-risk endeavour like banking is not where you want that figure, Wheeler adds. Results come at 07:00.

     
  48.  
    06:11: Markets performance Radio 5 live

    Justin Urquhart-Stewart of 7 Investments is on 5 live as the markets guest. "You have a global economy in pretty good shape and in the eurozone some better figures," he says, following soaring US markets. The FTSE 100 may grow further if there's better sentiment from China, he adds.

     
  49.  
    06:02: Mobile World Congress Radio 5 live
    Kazuo

    Rory Cellan-Jones, technology correspondent, is in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress. Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai is "making some tough decisions" and focusing Sony on things like films and games and camera technology: the areas that make money, he tells 5 live. Like many companies, it's finding mobile phones a tricky market.

     
  50.  
    06:00: Chris Johnston Business reporter

    Get in touch via email bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or on twitter @BBCBusiness

     
  51.  
    06:00: Howard Mustoe Business reporter

    Good morning! US stocks hit record levels, with both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 closing at all-time highs and the Nasdaq breaking the 5,000 barrier for the first time in 15 years. Is that going to last? Stay tuned for more.

     

Features

  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back


  • Aimen DeanI spied

    The founder member of al-Qaeda who worked for MI6


  • Woman with closed eyeStrange light show

    What do you see when you close your eyes?


  • A cow wearing sunglasses overlaid with the phrase 'Can't touch this'Cow row

    Thousands rally against the ban on beef in India


From BBC Capital

Programmes

  • Former al-Qaeda double agent Aimen DeanHARDtalk Watch

    Islamic State is about revenge says former al-Qaeda member turned spy Aimen Dean

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.