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Brands accused of betraying indies with Black Friday discounts

Independent retailers have accused brands of “disloyalty” for reducing prices online and in their own stores over Black Friday weekend.

Lauren Ferguson, owner of womenswear stores Sisters Boutique and Fergie in Falkirk, said she felt “insulted” when Ugg Australia, one of her biggest brands for autumn 15, offered 20% off online and in stores on November 27-30.

“It’s a slap in the face to the indies who have built these brands up,” she said. ”Ugg said they had to do it as everyone else was, but that’s not the case. People are happy to pay full price at this time of year.”

Ann Coxon, owner of Leggs unisex store in Darlington, said she has decided to drop premium womenswear brand Forever Unique from next season after it ran a 20% to 50% discount on Black Friday weekend.

“I can’t afford to have thousands of pounds worth of their stock on my rails when they are giving it away.

“I would never discount at this time of year, as it’s not fair to the lady who bought the dress at full price last Friday. All it is doing is educating the customer to hang on for Black Friday – it has killed November trade.”

Darren Hoggett, co-owner of independent J&B Menswear in Norwich, agreed: “The week leading up to Black Friday was one of the quietest we have ever had, yet Saturday was an exceptional day, even though we didn’t have any promotions in store. Our shoppers don’t mind paying full price as long as the quality is good.

“It does make me question which brands I deal with. I’m lucky as Fred Perry – one of my biggest brands – didn’t discount, but there were a lot out there that did. It shows the good labels from the bad.”

Ugg and Forever Unique have not responded to requests for a comment.


Readers' comments (1)

  • Totally agree with the comments on Black Friday especially at this time of year however, I also understand the need for brands to compete because contrary to what has been quoted above the consumer is not willing to pay full price any more (in one breath from the sisters quote they state the consumer is willing to pay full price and in the next they've lost thousands - contradiction in itself) they have been conditioned by both major store groups and the media and the choice is simple either compete or literally close the doors.
    I'd love to see a continental approach like in France and Italy where promotional periods are during set times and fines issued if anyone starts earlier or later.

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