Spain’s retail sector sets its sights on another record Black Friday

Stores are hoping to repeat the success of last year’s Black Friday

Stores are hoping to repeat the success of last year’s Black Friday

Companies are stockpiling ahead of the starting pistol for the Christmas shopping season

Since it was first introduced in 1932, Black Friday has earned a place in the hearts and wallets of generations of US shoppers. Offering generous discounts, and coming the day after Thanksgiving on the last Friday of November, the retail extravaganza is generally regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

Spaniards may not celebrate Thanksgiving, but since Black Friday was introduced here in 2012, it has fast become a tradition. This year it falls on November 25, and stores throughout the country are already stockpiling.

Four out of 10 Spanish SMEs will be selling their goods at discount prices on November 25

From its modest beginnings four years ago, when electronic and white goods retailer Media Markt was just about the only large store to hold its Black Friday sale, major high street chains such as Zara and Fnac have joined in, as has Spain’s biggest department store chain, El Corte Inglés. Few retailers can afford not to be part of it.

Last year’s event saw record sales, and forecasters are predicting that this time around will be even bigger.

El Corte Inglés says that it will be offering bargains in most of its departments, but won’t be releasing any details until a few days before November 25. French-owned megastore Carrefour and Germany’s Media Markt are putting the finishing touches to their advertising campaigns. Inditex, which owns fashion retailer Zara, will probably repeat its strategy of saying nothing until the day before.

The online retailer Amazon says it has been gearing up for Black Friday since September. A company spokesman says that it sold 560,000 items last year in Spain, equivalent to 392 sales per minute.

As a US company, Amazon knows and understands Black Friday well. It says that it has seen rapid growth in Spain and Italy and as such is investing in ways to attract more customers and companies to its platform.

eBay, one of its main competitors in the burgeoning online retail sector, will also be taking part in Black Friday, and says that around four out of 10 Spanish SMEs will be selling their goods at discount prices on November 25

Thinking big
Due Home, with a workforce of 11, is one such small Spanish company with high hopes for Black Friday. Xavier Martínez, the manager of the home decoration and furniture company, which moved online in 2013, says that it will be looking to increase sales on last year.

“We’re thinking big this year. We’ve got between 5,000 and 6,000 products,” he says, adding: “For us it’s a giant showcase. People who discover us that day will buy other things from the catalogue, and this creates a snowball effect that leads into the Christmas period.”

Published ElPais 7 November 2016

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