Black Friday: Fashion retailers join scrum to make up for lost autumn sales


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The Independent Online

Fashion retailers are taking the opportunity of the Black Friday sales craze across British high streets to shift excess stock left over from the unseasonably warm autumn.

Several clothing brands started flash sales yesterday, including Marks & Spencer,  H&M, Gap and Zara, adding fashion bargains to the Black Friday TV and electricals deals.

Kate Ormrod, an analyst  at the retail information firm Verdict, said: “Given the challenges faced by many in the UK retail sector this year, Black Friday will also prove useful for many clothing and footwear players left with high levels of winter stock – such as knitwear and accessories – following the unseasonably warm autumn.”

Last year, Marks & Spencer’s decision to hold discount events just before Christmas dismayed many shoppers who had bought gifts earlier in the month.

However, some analysts suggested that Black Friday, a US import that led to rioting outside Tesco and Asda stores yesterday over cheap televisions and tablets, could also bring an end to excessive pre- Christmas sales closer to the big day.

A number of big names including Next and SuperGroup, the owner of Superdry, have already warned that the warm autumn hit sales. 

 Superdry, whose profit warning came less than a month into new chief executive Euan Sutherland’s tenure, is offering 20 per cent off everything, while M&S offered 30 per cent off footwear, slippers, nightwear, perfume and selected clothing, which it will continue for the weekend.

However, Next was among the few that decided to steer clear of the hysteria.

Selfridges and Harvey Nichols also said they would not participate in yesterday’s sales, although Harrods is offering discounts to loyalty card holders this weekend.