Asda imports US ‘Black Friday’ shopping craze to UK stores

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Asda is introducing US shopping craze ‘Black Friday’ to 350 UK stores on Friday as it hopes to replicate its success this side of the Atlantic.

The ‘Walmart Black Friday at Asda’ branded event will include price cuts on over 500,000 products – including LG televisions, Samsung smartphones and various Christmas toys – and will run until Monday. All deals will be exclusive to Asda stores and not available online.

“Last year Walmart reported their best ever Black Friday event with stores in the US serving over 22 million customers in one day. Who’s to say this can’t take off similarly in the UK?”

Andrew Moore

“Last year Walmart reported their best ever Black Friday event with stores in the US serving over 22 million customers in one day. Who’s to say this can’t take off similarly in the UK?” said Andrew Moore, Asda’s CMO for George and general merchandise.

The Walmart-owned retailer will be hoping to improve on last year’s winter performance, when like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter increased by just 0.1%, despite what the supermarket chain described as its “biggest online Christmas ever”.

Asda’s like-for-like sales growth has slowed in 2013, with its third quarter showing a 0.3% rise in like-for-like sales compared to 1.1% in Q1 and 0.7% in Q2.

Moore added: “Black Friday will certainly give Christmas purchases at Asda a boost and we are confident it will build sales momentum for the fourth quarter.

“This is the first time a UK supermarket has ever done anything like this and we’ve been strategically planning with Walmart for some time to bring never-been-seen-before deals to our stores. Our research shows that only 40% of the UK population currently know what Black Friday is so there is a lot of potential for growth.”

3D printing service

Moore also gave an update on the retailer’s 3D printing service, which allows shoppers to create miniature 3D figurines of themselves for a fee of £40. Having been trialled at Asda’s York superstore, the service has since been rolled out to an additional 13 stores for a limited trial run over November and December.

“At the moment, the 3D scanning areas are going at the front of the store and generating a real buzz. The pilot has been received incredibly well and I would be surprised if 3D printing wasn’t eventually rolled out on a wider scale and on a more permanent basis,” he said.

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