Black Friday with Cyber Monday is one of the days with the highest turnover in the German trade. Black Friday was originally intended for stationary trading and Cyber Monday for online trading. Meanwhile there is no real separation of the bargain days in Germany anymore. With sales in the billions, the Bargain Days are outstripping the classic sale.

On 23 November 2018 Black Friday will take place for the twelfth time in Germany, Cyber Monday for the tenth time. In 2006 Apple brought the Black Friday sales event to Germany for the first time. Since then, the number of participating retailers and sales have grown every year. In 2017, Black Friday and Cyber Monday generated sales of around 1.7 billion euros. According to the HDE, Germans spent 1.7 billion euros on the four days from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. The so-called “Cyber Weekend” accordingly achieved an increase in turnover of 18.2 percent compared to the previous year.

Since there is no longer any separation between the offers in stationary retail (originally Black Friday) and online retail (originally Cyber Monday), many discounts are also available over the weekend (Cyber weekend).

More and more companies are taking part in the campaign days

Electronics, entertainment products and clothing are particularly popular on Black Friday. Many large companies such as Saturn, Media Markt, adidas, amazon, Footlocker, H&M, Zara and Peek & Cloppenburg offer special offers. In some cases there are discounts of 70 percent. Otto also participates in the discount campaigns and has been offering Black Friday offers for several years now. “During our Black Friday campaigns, we have experienced a far above-average turnover,” Otto’s corporate communications department says. “From 20 to 26 November, for example, we will be offering several thousand selected articles, some of which will be greatly reduced. A large number of the articles come from the multimedia sector, which is supplemented by products from all other categories. In addition, customers can look forward to various top deals every day during the promotion period”.

Customers of Peek & Cloppenburg can also look forward to discounts on the campaign days: “Peek & Cloppenburg offers its customers exciting offers not only on 23 November, the official Black Friday in the USA, but also on the following Saturday. In all P&C stores and in the online shop, 20 percent of the merchandise for Black Friday shoppers has already been reduced. As a result, we always receive very positive customer feedback in the context of discount campaigns such as Black Friday and can therefore look forward to a high frequency in the stores,” says Peek & Cloppenburg KG, Düsseldorf.

The online fashion retailer Zalando will also participate in Black Friday and the entire Cyber-Week: “We have achieved very positive results on the campaign days in recent years. Last year, for example, over a million orders were received only on Black Friday. At weddings we even received 2000 orders per minute. We are all the more pleased this year to be part of the Cyber-Week to start the Christmas season together with our customers,” says Zalando.

For the first time this year, the online shop tausendkind will also be present: “For us, big online players were the pioneers a few years ago who brought the tradition from the United States to Germany. We assume that Black Friday will pay off for us and our customers, because our customers can count on discounts of up to 70 percent,” are the reasons given by Dr. Anike von Gagern and Dr. Kathrin Weiß, the founders of tausendkind, for their first participation in the sales event.

Relevance of Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays

On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, local dealers in the USA have been luring their customers into the shops with discount campaigns since 1961. In 2003, online merchants launched Cyber Monday as a digital counterpart. Black Friday has established itself more and more in the USA and has now become the day with the highest sales of the year. In 2017, according to Adobe Digital Insights, the Americans bought Black Friday for 4.28 billion euros. On Cyber Monday even 5.61 billion euros were earned. In total, the retailers achieved a turnover of around 9.88 billion euros on both days. According to Martin Groß-Albenhausen, Deputy Managing Director of the German E-Commerce and Mail Order Association (Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel e.V.). (bevh), it was only a matter of time, due to the constant internationalization and the increasing popularity in the USA and also here in Germany, until the trend comes to Germany and also here the Christmas business with the Black Friday is rung in.

“Days like Black Friday are very important for the trade. We have noticed that it is very popular with both companies and consumers. Online retailers can sell their stocks empty (even with seasonal goods that have not yet been sold out) and use them to boost business at Christmas. It’s good for the industry in general, because gifts are bought earlier because there are big discounts. Thus the “bustle” around the Christmas holidays is somewhat equalized , says the deputy managing director of the bevh.

The Singles Day in Germany, which already took place on November 11th, has not been of such great importance until now. This is regarded as a mega-event, especially in China. This year, the Chinese market leader Alibaba generated 27.3 billion euros in sales, 27 percent more than on Singles Day 2017. This makes Singles Day by far the shopping event with the highest turnover in the world.

Do such discount campaigns damage the Christmas business?

The bevh welcomes the idea of the Black Fridays and notes that this great encouragement from both business and consumer side receives: “We are of the opinion that this action day should be available to every company and that every company should be able to decide freely whether and to what extent it makes use of this opportunity. Who does not want to participate in the action day, does not have to and will certainly have own tricks, as he gets the people to himself in the shop”, says Martin Groß-Albenhausen.

The retailers also agree: “The discount campaigns before the Christmas business make customers aware of our online shop and can thus discover great Christmas gifts,” according to the thousand child founders. At Otto, discount campaigns such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now part of the Christmas business: “Black Friday is part of the Christmas business – and we have been very satisfied with that in recent years,” says Otto.


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