Black Friday didn’t just take up column inches in the national press this week - it also took up a fair chunk of promotional space in the supermarkets.
Those displays of bargain tellies and kitchenware that drove shoppers to action usually reserved for the rugby pitch weren’t small - and have contributed to a dip in the number of featured space promotions.
But Black Friday is only a small part of the story. More significant have been other non-food items - including Christmas trees and decorations - that have been taking up space in foyers and on gondola ends in the run-up to the festivities.
retailers are also running more in-store ‘events’ that take space, suggests retail analysts Assosia. These included the Disney’s Frozen-themed weekend that took place in more than 250 Tesco Extra stores on 22 and 23 November and gave fans of the film the chance to make a snowman, decorate snowflakes, and enter a competition.
This has meant there has been less room for the food and drink brands that usually dominate fixtures, with six of the 10 most-promoted brands recording a drop in the number of featured space deals in the four weeks to 30 November, compared with the same period a year ago (see table, above).
The biggest drop has been Cadbury, which ran almost 200 fewer deals last month than it did in October. It has even run fewer deals on tins and tubs of Heroes and Roses - though the average saving on its products has risen, from 26% last month to more than 30%. And with other activity taking up featured space, Cadbury deals have moved to different locations in stores - a smaller proportion of its deals were offered in power aisles and till aisles than in October, as they shifted to the back aisle.
But, insists Assosia MD Kay Staniland, food and drink brands are likely to regain space as Christmas gets closer.
“You could be forgiven for thinking featured space has reached its peak,” she says, “but the downturn is only a blip in the lead-up to Christmas.”