Black Eye Friday, more like!

Some traditions don’t necessarily survive being transplanted from one country to another, and it appears that Black Friday may be one of them. Traditionally, US retailers have taken the opportunity on the day after Thanksgiving to heavily discount stock items to clear the decks ahead of the final sales push in the run-up to Christmas. This year, Asda in the UK (part of the US-based Walmart Group) decided to heavily promote a UK version of the Black Friday promotion, with major reductions in the price of electrical goods and other high value items. Unfortunately, Asda executives appear to have failed to properly assess the risk of hundreds of bargain-seeking crazies descending on their stores in search of give-away TVs and the like. The result (broadcast nationwide on news programmes this evening) is tragically comedic – with mass brawls, fist fights and (in one case) a customer left with a broken bone in her wrist (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25154497)

In the world of advertising, the mantra is that all publicity is good publicity, but it’s difficult to see how either Asda or its customers derive very much benefit or credit from the unsavoury scenes that were played out in stores from Belfast to Bristol to Liverpool today

People of Britain – we’re better than this! At least wait until Boxing Day before bludgeoning each other in the name of bargains!!

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