Printers take part in more muted Black Friday – Printweek

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, November 25, 2022
Many printers and related companies have got involved with this year’s Black Friday event, which could be a quieter affair than usual due to the cost-of-living crisis, ongoing postal strikes, and clashes with both England and Wales World Cup matches.
Black Friday began as a post-Thanksgiving festivity in the US, where it marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Introduced to the UK by Amazon in 2010, it is now one of the country’s biggest shopping days of the year, with retailers across the board cutting stock prices to fuel sales before Christmas.
However, while previous years have directly resulted in a lot of extra print – particularly direct mail – the majority of deals seen by Printweek this year have been promoted online through websites and social media channels, with Royal Mail deliveries affected by the ongoing strikes by CWU members that resumed yesterday (24 November) and are continuing today and next week hampering print promotion channels.
Nevertheless, printers offering deals this year include Nettl, which has a raft of different discounts live on various products from today until 2 December, and Photobox, which is offering up to 70% off on some products and a free pack of Christmas cards for today only. is running a ‘pink sale’ until the end of the month with 20% off all products. 
Snapfish has 50% off everything, with no minimum spend, until the end of today, while German kit supplier Ghost is offering a 20% discount on all Ghost toners and transfer foils for its ‘Black Weekend’ promotion.
Wentworth Wooden Puzzles, meanwhile, is offering 20% off selected puzzles through to Monday, while Bookishly, the only print-related company on the four-day working week pilot, has 25% off all prints today.
A survey from consumer research platform Attest found that over half (58%) of Brits will pull back on spending splurges this Black Friday, compared to last year, in response to inflation.
According to the new research, these consumers instead plan to save money in case they need it due to economic uncertainty (32%), prioritise their money to cover day-to-day expenses (29%), or pay for home energy bills (24%). Other reasons given include making mortgage repayments and worries about job security (both 4%).
However, most consumers (74%) said they did plan to spend at least something this Black Friday, but most were uncertain how much they would spend.
Jeremy King, CEO and founder of Attest, said: “Inflation and day-to-day worries about the economy are weighing heavily on almost all British consumers’ minds for Black Friday.
“Uncertainty seems to be the prevailing theme for every shopper, even among the minority of consumers who do plan to spend big on this retail event. Even the big spenders are unsure of how much they’ll spend and what they’ll purchase. This suggests that shoppers may hold off as long as possible to see if retailers can offer better deals.
“Consumers’ desire to save or be extremely cautious when it comes to spending goes beyond Black Friday, with three-quarters admitting to changing their gifting behaviour this Christmas.
“This poses significant challenges to all retailers – with changing priorities, patterns and places where people are planning to spend – and while it will make this one of the most competitive Christmas retail periods in a long time, there will be winners.”
Research from digital marketing agency The Audit Lab, however, looked at searches compared to previous years and said it was actually anticipating around a 5% increase in searches for ‘Black Friday’ and 8% for ‘Black Friday deals’.
Megan Boyle, head of content marketing at The Audit Lab, said: “Despite our expectations, it’s easy to understand why we would be seeing an increase in the searches this year, as consumers are trying to find the best deals they can to save the pennies this Christmas.
“While the numbers are still below pre-pandemic levels, crippled by the two years of drops, this year should present at least some opportunity for growth for many retailers, though the unique circumstances surrounding Black Friday and the looming threat of recession may mean this is not going to be a sustainable increase, and 2023 could once again bring another round of drops in searches.”
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