Swedish retailers adopt Black Friday

Swedish retailers have tried to adopt the American shopping feast of Black Friday - and it seems to have worked. At least online.

Friday was no bank holiday in Sweden, but for the last two years, retailers here have tried to fire the starting shot of the Christmas shopping with Black Friday offers. And it seems like the American equivalent, that takes place on the Friday after Thanksgiving, has taken hold also here.

According to preliminary figures from DIBS payment Services, internet shopping increased by 50 percent on Friday, compared to the same day last year. In shops offering special Black Friday discounts the increase was even bigger.

News agency TT reports that a survey carried out by Postnord, Swedish Trade Federation and HUI Research shows that 19 per cent of online retailers planned some kind of Black Friday activity this year, compared to 7 per cent last year.

The online payment service company Klarna told TT that more was sold online in Sweden yesterday than on any day previously. Their figures show an increase of 100 percent compared to an average Friday.

But Jonas Arnberg, CEO of the Swedish Trade Federation noted that Black Friday has so far mainly caught on among online retailers. "And bear in mind that online shopping is still a very small part of the total sales," he said.

Arnberg told TT that many retailers like this type of campaigns, as a way to attract customers. But he thinks it is problematic that Black Friday is mainly about selling things at a discount. "If retailers need anything today, it is to sell at full price, since profitability is pretty low right now," he said.

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