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Mobility trade prepares to cash in on Black Friday spending splurge

Black Friday Shoppers Hit UK High Streets

Mobility dealers around the country are gearing their businesses up for Black Friday, which takes place tomorrow and is expected to deliver more than £2.4bn of spend across retail sectors.

Keen to cash in on the annual buying frenzy, major mobility retailers are promoting discounts and deals on key product lines, including scooters and wheelchairs.

While the mobility segment is different to retail sectors in that fewer purchases are impulse buys and older people are less interested in the event according to data from PwC, there is nevertheless a strong argument for running Black Friday promotions.

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Online retailers in particular have been getting involved with the likes of Betterlife, CareCo, Livewell Today and MobiQuip all eager to capitalise on the increasing trend for online purchases during the Black Friday period.   

Brett Dawson, third party wholesale manager at Betterlife, said that the retailer supports the Black Friday initiative, adding that the firm’s online presence is “great” and that customers “always engage with online shopping” over the period.

“I think for our customer and the end-user [Black Friday] is a great thing as they can buy at a discounted rate on the given period. There are some good deals to be had.”

Darren Macey, business development manager at Lifestyle & Mobility, agrees that Black Friday is an important way of boosting sales at a traditionally quiet time of year for mobility traders.

He said: “This will be the third year in a row or us doing Black Friday. You have to be all in to do it. People need to go the Full Monty with it – signs everywhere, lots of preparation, extra marketing, social media.

“The only thing anything works is by putting effort in.”

NRS Healthcare, which recently bought The Complete Care Shop, and Companion, are also running extensive Black Friday deals, with NRS offering up to 60% off selected lines. NRS’ Black Friday initiative is also pushing ‘thank you’ gifts for carers.

Targeting the trade, David Harrison, sales and marketing director at Companion, said that replicating last year, the distributor will be offering partners with an increased bonus on leads that convert to appointments.

“With most customers seeing our products as a ‘need to have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’, initiatives such as Black Friday may have little impact on sales but with momentum growing across all areas of retail we felt it was important to introduce an offer to see what effect this could have.”

Last year, online Black Friday sales were stronger than forecasted and increased 12% to £1.4bn compared to 2016. Online sales tomorrow are projected to hit just over £1bn.

The spend will not be limited to e-commerce businesses however, and mobility retailers positioned in shopping centres and on busy high streets can expect a surge in footfall around their stores from tomorrow.

Whether they choose to pull passers-by into their stores with shop window promotions remains up to those individual businesses.

High street sales are expected to amount to around £1.4bn tomorrow, which works out as more than £2m spend per minute.

Projected Black Friday sales 2018 Overall spend Spend per minute Spend per hour
Online sales £1.04bn £720k £43.22m
Offline sales £1.41bn £2.23m £134m
Total spend £2.44bn £2.95m £177m

The competition from retail giants however will be stiff. Argos and Amazon’s TV advertising campaigns and huge Black Friday promotions are sure to attract customers looking for low ticket items like winter living aids.

 Similarly, national companies like HSL and bathstore will compete with high street dealers on higher value items like rise and recliners, which enjoy particularly strong sales at this time of year.

But the industry is far from wholly on-board and a number of key industry players are not getting involved.

Ableworld is not promoting any Black Friday-specific deals and is instead concentrating on its large annual winter and Christmas sale. Neither Millercare nor Eden Mobility are promoting Black Friday deals on their sites.

Good to know

  • People in the North East plan to spend the most on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (£286), followed by Northern Ireland (£285) and Londoners (£279). In contrast, those residing in the South West plan to spend the least (£139).
  • One in six adults plan to buy something on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
  • 13% of Baby Boomers have felt post-purchase regret making them the least likely generation to feel regret after buying a Black Friday/Cyber Monday item.
  • Three quarters of over 55s are either not interested in Black Friday or are avoiding the event altogether.

Tags : betterlife
Joe Peskett

The author Joe Peskett

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