Bournemouth University’s Jeff Bray went on BBC Radio Solent last Friday to offer his thoughts on Black Friday in the UK.
The BU lecturer appeared Louisa Hannan’s Drivetime show, and spoke about how Black Friday had been around “since the 60’s in America”, but came over here partly because of the rise of internet shopping. “You can’t have offers in one country and leave [shoppers] out in another”, explained Bray, “It is inevitable”.
Discussing where the occasion got its name from, Bray admitted that he “couldn’t give a categorical answer”, but believed that it could be due to pollution caused by shopping traffic, or how it is the day of the year when “retailers, many of whom operate at a loss for 11 months of the year, suddenly start turning a profit – or enter the black.
“A lot of the big retailers today are actually predicting bigger sales than on Boxing Day - traditionally a big shopping day in the UK,” Bray added.
The show also explored the negative side of Black Friday; with a local businessman describing it as ‘a frenzy’ that simply moves spending from one day to another.
“I think that a lot of businesses will say that,” Bray said, “I actually question whether big retailers that offer 40% off of large electrical items will be making much money on these products that they are selling at such discounted prices.
“But it does get people thinking about Christmas shopping in a big way”.
A staggering £360,000 per minute was spent on credit cards during the day, with Bray also pointing out that “it doesn’t just stop today”, but continued with “Cyber Monday” and “Small Business Saturday on 6 December”.
The clip is available (from 33 minutes in) on the BBC Radio Solent website.