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The BlackFriday Home Pages of the Top25 retailers

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Even as we monitor the performance of our top retailers’ websites over this extended peak weekend, we thought you’d be interested to see how each of the retailers greeted #blackfriday morning.

Here are the home pages of our Top23 retailers (i.e. the Elite, Leading and Model categories of the IRUK 500 for 2015) through Ian Jindal’s browser.

The retailers alphabetically are:

Amazon, Argos, Asda, Boots, Clarks, Debenhams, Halfords, Homebase, House of Fraser, John Lewis, M&S, Maplin, Mothercare, New Look, River Island, Schuh, Screwfix, Selfridges, Superdry, Tesco, Toyshop, Toys R Us, Waitrose.

This report forms part of our #blackfriday2015 coverage

All screen grabs taken on a MacBook Pro Retina 15” screen with Ghostery running (you can see in some of the shots a list of the cookies being placed). [Update 2015-11-30: We’ve also looked at the the changes (if any) to their CyberMonday homepages].


Well, Amazon were largely responsible for promoting Black Friday in the UK and they’re not shy about mentioning it this morning. Their header, main carousel and next banner all shout Black Friday…



Argos kindly lets us know that Black Friday “is here”. As Sean Fleming noted over on eDelivery Argos has had a neat ‘queue’ system. Where demand has exceeded capacity users have been presented with a countdown of 10 minutes’ wait before they can access the deals… Whether just a cunning 404 page or a real queue, it’s a neat way of avoiding a total outage.


Note the important placed upon “Fast Track” – getting products more quickly – and the extended hours promise over Black Friday.


Well, they declared that they were so over BlackFriday and true to their word there’s no sign of it on the Asda website…


They’re keen to “Light up everything” #becauseitschristmas and they’re “loving” everything bar BlackFriday.

However, when you dive into George from their top navigation it’s clear that there’s a solid 20% discount at play… however, it’s just “our little treat”.



Boots goes with a homepage takeover and having urged us to “Hurry!” admits that we actually have until the end of Monday 30th (so not that great a hurry after all!). The starry background is surprisingly festive!



No messing with Clarks! A homepage takeover with 20% off. A split offer with 20% off full price adults then a larger 20% off All Full Price – as if they had a change of heart in between creating their collateral!



Debenhams tries to incorporate their “found it” strapline into a simple Black Friday page. This is one retailer that’s trying to persuade us that it’s only for this Friday, but have incorporated a Black Friday tab into the top navigation, indicating its priority. The discounts are less, however, than a normal (!) Debenhams sale – 30% promised. Let’s see whether there’s a great discount on Cyber Monday…



Halfords stretch our understanding of the word “Friday” as it turns into “Black Friday Weekend Deals”. No specific products or discount promises on view – just the injection to “shop all deals” and “shop now”.



Homebase has a ‘Black Friday Event’. A very austere and black carousel warns us of the doom-laden end on 30 November… Better shop now.


House of Fraser

House of Fraser leads with the discount (50%), the categories and some of the brands taking part. Their “tick tock, limited stock” is a playful change from some of the more austere calls to action on other retailers’ sites.


John Lewis

John Lewis can’t quite bring themselves to say “Black Friday” – rather they’s “price matching our competitors”. This is John Lewis’ code for ‘there’s a sale on but we’re not going to endorse our competitors’ behaviour or branding”. You can see their standard ‘price match’ graphics in the green and black banner, and this swing tag device has been adapted for Black Friday in the main image, but without any joy… John Lewis is one of the few retailers to remember that Christmas is around the corner and that shopping today might be for Christmas presents.



The content and creative team at M&S have been busy with their graphics and this gold-leaf-on-black treatment is striking. A clear 50% message and a nice twist on the spend, spend, spend theme – “start saving today” is the call to action.



Maplin’s page carries a slew of offers: Black Friday above and below the category navigation, but it’s lasting for “one week only”, with an additional £15 off. The rest of the page leads with category and product promotions.



It’s a black and white ‘mod’ or ‘panda’ look for Mothercare . There are a lot of offers on this page: £100 of vouchers, £5 e-voucher when spending over £50, a free car seat and 60% off toys… With all of these messages perhaps the Mothercare visitor couldn’t cope with colour processing too.


New Look

Austere and stylish, New Look’s Black Friday Weekend blends banner with full-width image to create an impact. Each category of the site (apart from New In and Plus Size and Trends get a second call out in the graphic).


River Island

Sadly, there’s no screen shot of River Island’s home page this morning since the site was unresponsive. We’ll check back over the weekend to see how it looks…


A striking and well-considered homepage from the team at Schuh . A rolling carousel sells the 40% discount plus a £1 next day delivery offer. Our review of delivery promised for Black Friday have shown a distinct pull away from next day delivery so Schuh is setting a high bar here. The choice of black shoes in silhouette is a fun and relevant touch.



Never mind Black Friday, it’s a 5-day “Price Crash” at Screwfix . Free click and collect still features and the focus is upon getting the order in and the product in your hands (with a reminder of the cheery call centre awaiting your order should your fingers be too tired to type after Black Friday bargain-hunting).



What Black Friday?

Selfridges maintains its aloof stance (they have winter events I think, rather than sales) and the focus here is upon luxurious product, joyfully presented, with a nod to Christmas. This is a confident, insouciant performance from Selfridges that stands out from the promotional shouting on other sites.



Superdry’s offer of 20% is tied to ‘winter exclusives’ messaging. Running today only, this is a welcome focus upon product rather than promotion.



Tesco Direct leads with a countdown clock, but since it’s already 27 November the metaphor is a bit lost on me now…


Once inside the Black Friday offers however, and into my checkout procedure, Tesco’s tone rapidly focuses upon expectation management and dousing my anticipatory joy with some harsh, cold, delivery reality. I can wait 5-7 days for “Standard” or choose… er… nothing! It’s standard or standard.



Topshop too has a 5-day event. Playful in tone the page goes on to share in the excitement – “it’s what we’ve all been waiting for”. If you’re forced into a promo then you’d may as well pretend to enjoy it!


Toys R Us

No real mention of BlackFriday on the homepage for Toys R Us , just some ‘sidebars’ on the site, competing with the 20% Lego Christmas offer and many free, free, free things when you spend £40, £20 or £50 or more…

2015 11 27 10 22 21


Waitrose’s main focus is upon Christmas grocery booking, doing your first shop and then a mention of Black Friday weekend offers, but in non-food categories.


Here’s the Black Friday site…


Interestingly, when I looked at the site on my mobile it was a case of ‘computer says no’: “For seasonal ordering please use our desktop site” – are we not allowed to order for Christmas or Black Friday unless in widescreen with a keyboard?


We also have a #CyberMonday view of the world, through the homepages of our Top23!

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