Fri­day? No Mon­day is the day for bar­gains

Sunday Express - - SPECIAL INVESTIGATION - By Jon Coates

RE­TAIL­ERS are hop­ing for a £1.4bil­lion cy­ber bonanza to­mor­row.

Ex­perts warned that web­sites could crash as con­sumers go on on­line shop­ping sprees.

With price cuts of up to 87 per cent in on­line sales the spend­ing is set to dwarf Black Fri­day’s £1bil­lion splurge – down from £1.1bil­lion last year, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­tre for Re­tail Re­search.

An­a­lysts have at­trib­uted this fall in part to “ghost buy­ers” go­ing into shops to check prices be­fore buy­ing on­line on Cy­ber Mon­day.

A YouGov sur­vey found al­most one in five mil­len­ni­als ad­mit­ted to “ghost buy­ing” on Black Fri­day.

On­line spend­ing is ex­pected to soar at 8am and 6pm to­mor­row, while an­other £1.5 bil­lion will be spent in shops.

Mean­while, on­line searches for hol­i­days and flights have soared by 1,050 per cent in the past week.

The four-day £8.29bil­lion shop­ping spree from Fri­day to Mon­day will be even big­ger than the splurge in the days be­fore and af­ter Christ­mas, the Cen­tre for Re­tail Re­search (CRR) and Fi­nan­cial Con­duct Au­thor­ity found.

Among the big­gest re­duc­tions were Deben­hams cut­ting prices of Hobbs Lau­ren dresses from £169 to £21.60.

But ex­perts warned of web­sites crash­ing to­mor­row. Jimmy New, mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor for VoucherCodes, said: “Some web­sites will buckle un­der the pres­sure on Cy­ber Mon­day.

“Those wor­ried about miss­ing deals due to web­sites go­ing down should set their alarms for 7am to avoid the vir­tual crowds,” he said.

Gavin Lowther, from re­tail web­site soft­ware firm Visu­al­soft, added: “Re­tail­ers are not learn­ing from em­bar­rass­ing web­site crashes.

“They will lose out as they are not get­ting the ba­sics right.”

Black Fri­day saw shop­pers brav­ing freez­ing weather to queue out­side Tesco from 5am, with John Lewis sales peak­ing from 6-7am.

The John Lewis web­site’s most searched-for prod­ucts were Ap­ple AirPod ear­phones, down £100 to £269, and Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 3, down £60 to £249.

Cur­rys PC World re­ported com­puter pur­chases six times higher than on Black Fri­day 2017.

Min­tel di­rec­tor of re­tail re­search Richard Perks said: “There are signs shop­pers are dis­il­lu­sioned with Black Fri­day. Peo­ple may check high street prices over the week­end.

“Re­tail­ers will have Cy­ber Mon­day pro­mo­tions and there will be mo­bile shop­ping surges.

“But it’s crazy that re­tail­ers are train­ing shop­pers to wait for late Novem­ber dis­counts be­fore spend­ing. Re­tail­ers are un­der­min­ing their own busi­ness.”

Pro­fes­sor Joshua Bam­field, di­rec­tor of the CRR, added: “Re­tail­ers want to make as much money as pos­si­ble in the ‘golden quar­ter’ cov­er­ing Christ­mas.

“But Cy­ber Mon­day and Black Fri­day are de­lay­ing spend­ing from Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber.”

Pic­ture: FA­CUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/EPA

BAG­GING A DEAL: Cus­tomers make the most of Black Fri­day dis­counts in London’s Ox­ford Street

EMPTY GES­TURE: Waitrose is sell­ing wooden boxes for £7 a time. Con­tents, un­for­tu­nately, are not in­cluded in the price

SPLURGE: Cur­rys PC World shop­per

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