Hey and welcome to Retail 90 – I’m your host, Tom. With the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend right around the corner; this week, we’ve got a special episode where we delve into opinions from retailers on these types of sales. In 2014, sales across Black Friday and Cyber Monday skyrocketed by an impressive 30% above the expected forecast. And in 2015, we saw empty shops across the high street. But last year, some major retailers like Next, Ikea and Asda chose not to take part. Although average sales across the weekend grew by 12.2%. This was down compared to the expected growth of 16%. So with the popularity clearing waning, I was interested to hear to what retailers really think about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here’s what I’ve found out so far: Clifton Vaughan, Managing Director of Natural Baby Shower says: “Black Friday is growing year on year and shouldn’t be ignored by retailers in a competitive market… It’s difficult for retailers to plan and get right, but with a thought-out strategy, it can be a great revenue driver. Shoppers are getting savvy to deals and watch prices in November, so it’s worth trying to inform customers early of impending offers. Also with Christmas around the corner and January sales, be careful not to be discounting too long! We feel it’s here to stay but hopefully retailers don’t get too greedy and extend or grow it too much, which will eventually saturate the market and stop shoppers from a flash buying frenzy.” Whilst Emma Robson from Bat and Bottle casts doubt on the sales, saying: “I think the first time I came across Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I saw it as suicide by retail. January sales had already previously killed pre-holiday sales for many companies. We’ve clearly become more materialistic with how much we spend. We haven’t got involved in Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the past and we positively don’t have January sales. Our principle has always been to be a straight and honest business so we don’t put huge markups on products, to then discount. Our prices are very true: if we’re offering a discount, it’s because we want to clear some space in the warehouse and we’ll stick to that policy until we finish our company.” Whereas, it seems Pavel Smirnov, Managing Director for Tablet2Cases is in two minds about the sales: “In October to January, we double our turnover. So business-wise, it’s good for business… I find it ironic that Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. But we are in a consumerist society – this is when people shop.” Whilst Donna Best, Director of Operations at Golden Protective Services tells us they concentrate on an entirely different day instead. We focus on what we call ‘Green Saturday’… The Saturday before Black Friday, as our sales have always historically increased on this day.” But it’s your turn now: what do you think about Black Friday and Cyber Monday?