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THIS WEEK IN PEAK Some Black Friday discounting still in force, but prices seem to be on the rise after the Cyber Weekend

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With Cyber Weekend now over – in theory – we catch up on updates on how the event went, and look ahead to peak trading in the run up to Christmas.

Black Friday discounting continues

It seems this year it’s never too late to grab a deal: Amazon says its Cyber Monday deals go on till midnight, while at Sports Direct companies Evans Cycles, and House of Fraser Black Friday prices are still in operation: at House of Fraser the tagline is ’Black Friday ain’t over till it’s over’.

Debenhams, meanwhile, has gone from Cyber Weekend into a payday spectacular, perhaps suggesting that this year’s Black Friday weekend didn’t fall late enough for shoppers to flock to the discounts. And even where there isn’t still a Black Friday offer in force, retailers from Tesco to Argos are now offering some kind of deal on their home page. 

Prices rise after cyber discounting

That said, the priciest time of the year is upon us, according to It says that from today until the end of next week, consumers will now pay the highest prices for their goods that they have all year. 
The retail sales aggregator says that yesterday retailers removed hundreds of thousands of online discounts, which are now running at 42% less than before, as they try to sell as many items at full price as they can. That means that prices are up by 51% since Black Friday, says LovetheSales, and that men’s and women’s fashion is now the most expensive it’s been through the year, while discounts are running at their lowest level. This trend, it says, has taken place every year since 2014. 
Stuart McClure, founder of said: “Historically, this upcoming week is the worst in the year for consumers to buy. In the aftermath of Black Friday, discounts reach their lowest number for the year, and prices rise rapidly. Retailers understand consumers desire to buy ahead of Christmas, and on the back of Black Friday are looking to sell as many products as possible at higher prices.
“One blow this year however, is today’s announcement of the lowest consumer confidence [according to GfK] in nearly a year. This may affect retailers’ ability to effectively deploy this tactic. Traditionally, we see discounts return after the first week of December, but this year it may be sooner.”

Final delivery dates

Getting last order dates right for Christmas orders is a fine balancing act. Cut them off too early, and shoppers turn elsewhere to buy. But leave them too late and retailers risk disappointing customers. 

ParcelHero has rounded up the final shopping dates for which retailers are this year promising on-time Christmas delivery, and finds a wide variation. Some are promising final delivery as early as December 17, while others, from Amazon and Argos to Net-A-Porter, buoyed by fast delivery services, are promising in-time-for-Christmas delivery for orders placed on Christmas Eve (December 24). 

David Jinks, head of consumer research at ParcelHero, said: “While we wouldn’t want to encourage last-minute shopping, because of the risk of gifts missing Christmas Day, we think it’s best to make sure shoppers are fully informed of the cut-off dates for placing orders. It’s true that some bargains do pop up very near Christmas, so it’s not always the early birds who get the best worms, but we advise consumers not to think that everything will still be in stock on the 23rd.”


Cyber Weekend update

East London was the UK’s ecommerce hotspot over the course of Cyber Weekend, according to Royal Mail analysis. 

The Royal Mail analysed parcels accepted into its network between November 19 and 27 from online retailers and ecommerce retailers, using its tracked 24-hour and 48-hour services, and found that East London topped its London list, while Kirkwall topped its Scotland list, and Llandridnod Wells its Wales list. 

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We have looked at parcel delivery data across our huge network of delivery offices and it has revealed that East London is the UK’s Cyber Week online shopping hotspot for 2018. We take planning for the period between Black Friday and New Year’s Day incredibly seriously and start planning for the next year the moment the current period is over. This year,yearn top of the huge number of processing and delivery sites we already operate, we have opened an extra six dedicated parcel sort centres to handle the additional volume we expect to be carrying.”

Image: Fotolia

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