Many high street retailers have extended their Black Friday offers this year in order to avoid delivery bottlenecks and the risk of running out of stock.
Several retailers have started their promotions earlier, in many cases running week-long promotions.
Marks & Spencer kicked off its Black Friday promotion on Tuesday, offering up to 50% off selected clothing, homeware and beauty ranges.
New Look launched its Cyber Week Sale last Thursday (November 19), with 40% off selected lines.
Asos.com has been running Black Friday “warm-up” Sales this week, with 60% off different categories and areas of the site, including casualwear and further reductions on already-discounted items in Asos Outlet.
River Island has been running daily offers between 12pm and 2pm, offering a handful of items marked down by up to 70%.
Meanwhile, Matalan has been offering 50% off all products in store throughout this week.
One womenswear retailer, which started its Black Friday promotions at the beginning of this week – earlier than last year – told Drapers: “There’s a feeling on the high street that everyone wants to make the most of this week.
“The last few weeks have been challenging as shoppers have held back and the mild weather hasn’t been helping. Last year was very tricky; it took us a number of weeks to get back on track again. This year, we’ve made sure we’re ready in terms of resources and the website can withstand more traffic.”
Logistics firm Fastlane International said extended promotions would help to ease the strain. A spokesman said: “Last year, companies such as Amazon, River Island, Shop Direct and Debenhams all admitted to disruption to their delivery networks in fulfilling the record amount of orders.
”Systems are inevitably strained by such a huge artificial spike in demand at the beginning of the Christmas sales period. It might seem strange that Black Friday lasts a week, but if it helps to break the log jam, it makes sense.”