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The Black Friday Dilemma: Is It a Good Business Move?

Black Friday sign in store window

Black Friday is often a huge monetary success for businesses across the country. This year, the UK market is estimated to spend around £3 billion during the 2023 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales with 51% planning to purchase.

Of course, planning a campaign around the Black Friday sales seems like a no brainer. But there’s more to the global phenomenon than what meets the eye - its benefits are not evenly distributed among all businesses. While this day seems like a universal win for all organisations, it can be a mixed bag depending on the nature of the business.

The Winners

Big Chains

Massive retailers like Amazon and Argos often reap the most benefits from Black Friday sales. Their massive scale allows them to negotiate significant discounts from suppliers and offer unparalleled deals to the market. This is made possible by their ability to absorb the profit loss from these discounts due to their sheer volume of sales.

Electronics and Tech Companies

This sector notoriously thrives during Black Friday. Each year, shoppers are drawn to steep discounts on gadgets and appliances. The nature of these products, where newer models frequently replace older ones, prompts consumers to take advantage of Black Friday deals that are not available elsewhere.

The Not-So-Winners

Small Businesses

While some smaller businesses opt to participate in the Black Friday sales, the level of discounts they can afford often fails to match those offered by larger retailers. Limited profit margins make it challenging for them to slash prices without eating into their profits significantly in the long-term. Put simply, many small businesses fail to compete and as a result, incur huge losses.

Service-Based Businesses

Black Friday mainly benefits businesses selling products. Service-based industries, like consulting, healthcare, or education, can find it challenging to participate and compete. They might offer deals, but the concept may not align with their service-oriented nature, perhaps even diminishing the value of their specialised services.

Ethical and Sustainable Brands

Businesses with a focus on sustainability, fair trade, or ethical sourcing might struggle during Black Friday. Discounted sale periods can often face backlash as they contribute to excessive consumerism and harmful environmental practices. As a result, participating could conflict with their principles and jeopardise their reputation in the market.

Is Black Friday Right For You?

Where Black Friday is concerned, it is important that we don’t paint all businesses with the same brush. When considering whether taking part in the sales is right for your business, consider the following questions:

  1. Can your company afford significant discounts without long-term profit risks?

  2. Do Black Friday promotions align with your brand's values and image?

  3. Can your company effectively compete with larger businesses in terms of discounts and promotions?

  4. How will your target market perceive and respond to Black Friday deals?

  5. How does participating in Black Friday align with your overall business strategy and goals?

''it is important that we don’t paint all businesses with the same brush.''


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