The papers are still churning out new angles on tomorrow’s supposed sales extravaganza as we head into Black Friday.

The FT suggests that “dark clouds” are starting to gather over Black Friday in the US. It notes that US sports chain REI shutting up shop and giving its staff a paid day off, encouraging them to spend it outside. “The decision has been greeted in part as a canny marketing move… But REI’s decision to close has also highlighted signs of consumer fatigue emerging both in the US and UK”. (The Financial Times £)

UK retailers are stocking up and hoping for the best as Black Friday approaches, writes The Guardian. “The recent arrival of America’s one-day shopping frenzy presents a challenge and an opportunity”, the paper writes. “Black Friday barely existed in the UK three years ago. This week, more than £1.6bn of sales are expected to be rung up – in stores and online”. (The Guardian)

John Lewis has banned its employees from using staff discounts on its website on Black Friday. The department store said the decision was designed to ‘deliver a good shopping experience for our customers’ during tomorrow’s shopping extravaganza. (The Daily Mail)

Elsewhere, British retailers are facing prolonged misery after the Government delayed its highly anticipated overhaul of business rates until next year’s Budget. The extra wait comes despite repeated assurances from the Government that there would be a decision by the end of this year, in line with the Conservatives’ manifesto. (The Telegraph)

Britvic said it was confident of serving up a 5-10 per cent increase in profits this year, despite a “slow start” in the first two months. It plans to cut more costs and expand overseas — including in Brazil, where its acquired the Ebba concentrates business in September. (The Financial Times £)

The nation’s appetite for novelty cakes emblazoned with Disney characters shows no signs of weakening. Finsbury Food, one of the largest bakers in Britain making “celebration cakes”, said that the first four months of its year had got off to a strong start, with growth fuelled in part by sales of its Minions-inspired and Frozen-themed cakes. (The Times £)

Jamie Laing, heir to the McVitie’s biscuit fortune and star of reality TV show Made in Chelsea, has launched a campaign to raise £300,000 for confectionary company Candy Kittens - exclusively reported by The Grocer earlier this week. The 27-year-old, who set up the business four years ago, is offering sweet-toothed investors 7.5% of the business in return for pledges on Seedrs. (The Daily Telegraph)

Tesco is trying to win over shoppers with a trial of handing out free fruit to children. The supermarket will place boxes of apples, bananas and oranges near store entrances for parents to give to their children. Fifteen Tesco stores in Glasgow will participate in a four-week trial of the idea after a similar initiative by a Tesco store manager in Lincolnshire proved popular. (The Guardian)

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