The annual purchasing occasion that many retailers, and us bargain-hunters, sit up for is sort of upon us however a client group has warned that offers must be “taken with a pinch of salt”.
According to analysis by the patron group Which?, simply 2% of discounted Black Friday affords have been at their least expensive worth on the day of the gross sales occasion final 12 months.
It warned customers to match costs as retailers responded by largely dismissing the findings, pointing to the truth that chains don’t sometimes promise to make Black Friday offers their least expensive of the 12 months.
Which? analysed 208 offers obtainable on 25 November 2022 and mentioned that solely 5 have been least expensive on that Black Friday.
All the costs have been in comparison with these provided to customers within the six months earlier than and after the sale day.
Which? mentioned that the costs for 86% of the merchandise have been the identical worth or cheaper at different instances of the 12 months when the Black Friday sale interval was prolonged past simply the only official day, to seize week-long affords together with these on so-called Cyber Monday.
The report mentioned that 75% of merchandise at Argos that have been on provide on Black Friday – and have been included within the research – have been cheaper at different instances of the 12 months.
The client group mentioned that was the very best proportion for any of the eight retailers examined.
One TV was discovered to be £120 cheaper than the Black Friday worth within the following March – the time of 12 months that new fashions are typically launched.
Argos instructed Which? that just one product in its evaluation was a Black Friday deal, however the watchdog discovered lots of the Argos merchandise included in its evaluation had ‘Black Friday’ included within the on-line URL and have been included in a bit of the retailer’s web site referred to as ‘Black Friday offers and scorching merchandise’.
An Argos spokeswoman mentioned: “Which? has leaped to outlandish conclusions, based on just one ‘Black Friday’ deal at Argos.
“We provide lots of of nice worth offers throughout a variety of merchandise every year. This doesn’t exclude this stuff from different promotions and clearance gross sales sooner or later.
“Right now customers have extra peace of mind when they shop with us, thanks to our Black Friday Price-Promise badge. This guarantees the product will not fall below the current price before January 1, 2024.”
AO World was scathing of the group’s conclusion that half its Black Friday affords that have been analysed have been cheaper at different instances.
An spokesperson responded: “This is classical biased, unbalanced Which? ‘research’ that’s rolled out every year and always totally misses the point and doesn’t represent the value that Black Friday’s promotional period delivers for hard-pressed households to reduce the cost of Christmas.”
Ele Clark, Which? Retail editor, mentioned it was vital for customers to do their homework and store round.
“Our research shows that you don’t need to feel pressured to splash out on Black Friday as it’s rarely the cheapest time to shop.
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“Retailers usually are not unaware of the additional strain on family funds this 12 months and will likely be eager to make use of Black Friday to draw customers trying to get essentially the most for his or her cash.
“While they’re rare, there are some genuine bargains to be had – just make sure you do your research and don’t panic buy.
“It’s value evaluating the worth at a number of retailers and checking the product’s worth historical past utilizing a website corresponding to PriceRunner or PriceSpy – that means you will know a very good deal once you see one.”