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UK Grocer Gets Cold Feet On Black Friday Events

Everyone has their own Black Friday strategies, but a safe rule of thumb is that shoppers who aren't serious about scoring deals will miss out on the real good stuff — and the same could be said about retailers not willing to go all in on sales.

Gung-ho attitudes on the holiday shopping season seem to be exclusive to just one side of the pond, though, as Bloomberg Business reported that U.K.-based supermarket chain Asda is shuttering previous plans to hold Black Friday shopping events at its stores. Owned by Walmart, Asda brought the uniquely American idea to Britain and ran Black Friday promotions at its stores in 2014. Asda CEO Andy Clarke told Bloomberg that U.K. shoppers didn't respond well to the concept of a frantic sales event with limited discounted items.

“Customers have told us loud and clear that they don’t want to be held hostage to a day or two of sales,” Clarke said.

Instead of limited engagements, Clarke explained that Asda plans on spreading out its savings over the course of November and December. In total, Asda will implement $39 million worth of price reductions during the holiday shopping season in lieu of door-buster sales.

Not every U.K. retailer is turning its back on Black Friday just yet. Though the stress of midnight sales might be high for both brands and shoppers alike, Paula Nickolds, commercial director for department store chain John Lewis, told the BBC that the sales from Black Friday-like events are too massive for her organization to simply let go of.

"John Lewis has no choice," Nickolds said. We are part of this whether we want to be or not."

It might not be until after Black Friday sales close and the sales numbers start rolling in that retailers like John Lewis are happy with their choices after all.

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