JOHN Lewis boss Andy Street has urged UK firms to hold back on Black Friday discounting because of its heavy cut to profits.
The retailer’s managing director said the American-inspired sales day at the end of November gave John Lewis its biggest trading week on record, with sales up 22 per cent on last year, but was “more challenging profitability-wise.”
Black Friday, which was widely adopted in the UK last year, has turned traditional Christmas shopping on its head. Speaking after John Lewis issued its Christmas sales figures, Street said sales in the week of Black Friday outpaced trading in the week before Christmas.
“We’ve got to ask if it’s right to concentrate trade so much in that one period,” he told the BBC. “My personal hope is that this is the high water mark for Black Friday. I don’t think we can put the genie back in the bottle but do we need to stoke that fire anymore? I personally hope not,” he added.
In the five weeks to 27 December, like-for-like sales rose 4.8 per cent to £777m, with increased web sales.