Black Friday boosts Argos sales

<p>Argos saw sales grow by 45 per cent on Black Friday.</p>

Black Friday has quickly become a major phenomenon across both the UK and US.

Originally developed in the US, to mark the first shopping day after Thanksgiving, the event sees retailers reduce prices significantly for one day only. The trend has made its way over the Atlantic and become an annual event. In certain cases it has sparked a frenzy among shoppers with some stores having to call in extra security to prevent clashes between people trying to get the very best deals.

Part of the build-up to the busy Christmas period, Black Friday can provide a boost to many retailers, as seen in the case of Argos. The company's parent group Home Retail stated that Black Friday "significantly impacted" on Argos' sales which grew by a huge 45 per cent following the event.

John Walden, chief executive of Home Retail Group, explained that Black Friday helped like-for-like sales in the past 18 weeks grow by 0.1 per cent, however it fell short of the original expectation of a two per cent hike. The group, which owns other brands such as Homebase, stated that the DIY store had seen like-for-like sales increase by 0.6 per cent but total sales dropped by 2.7 per cent.

Home Retail noted that this decline was down to the closure of 12 stores during the last period. It brought the total among of closure to 19 in 2014.

Commenting on the Black Friday impact, Mr Walden said: "This year's adoption of 'Black Friday' promotional events generally by the UK market significantly impacted the shape of Argos' sales over its peak trading period.

"In anticipation of volatility in trading patterns and the profit pressure caused by aggressive promotions, Argos pursued a more cautious trading stance over the period.

"This resulted in broadly flat like-for-like sales, but achieved both improved gross margins and good cost management."

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