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Black Friday deals launch early at Amazon, Argos and Carphone Warehouse

Spreading deals across many days is one way retailers are trying to ease pressure in stores and online

Hazel Sheffield
Monday 23 November 2015 12:53 GMT
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People crowd the aisles inside Macy's department store in New York after the midnight opening to begin Black Friday
People crowd the aisles inside Macy's department store in New York after the midnight opening to begin Black Friday (AFP/Getty Images)

Black Friday deals have started so early at some shops that they have become just plain old sales.

Amazon, Argos and Carphone Warehouse are among the retailers starting Black Friday discounts long before November 27 in a bid to snare shoppers' cash before the big day comes around.

Amazon started at midnight on November 23 with 7000 deals that will run until midnight on Black Friday itself. They are spreading the savings across "lightning deals" that are available in limited quantities for a limited period of time, and "deals of the day" that run for 12 hours only.

Carphone Warehouse launched a ten day "black tag" sale on November 23, stretching out the discount season for longer than ever before.

Their deals include a Samsung Galaxy S6 available for free at £22 per month and an HTC A9 available for free at £23.50 per month. Both save £200 on the cost of buying the handset upfront. They are also offering "spike" deals that are available for a day or two only, such as the Nexus 5X available on Monday and Tuesday only at £18.50 per month, saving £200 on the cost of the handset.

“Feedback from our customers revealed that one day simply isn’t enough. They need time to research and consider – they don’t appreciate a one day panic," Jeremy Fennell, managing director at Carphone Warehouse, said.

Argos kicked off Black Friday a week ahead of time, with discounts on Star Wars, Peppa Pig and Disney Frozen toys. But it suffered an early setback when its website went down, in an early warning of the perils of spikes in traffic.

Spreading deals across many days is one way retailers are trying to ease pressure in stores and online. Amazon has found another way by offering early discounts to customers who sign up to Prime.

Dr Tim Denison, Director of Retail Intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance, noted strategies such as these “could knock down the frailties of the 2014 Black Friday debacle by delivering a proactive, managed approach, far more refined than the blunderbuss approach adopted by retailers last year.”

But they can also knock the wind out of Black Friday's big sales figures before the day has even arrived.

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