It's rapidly grown into the most important date on many consumers' calendars: 'Black Friday', which this year falls today, Friday 29 November. This is no longer an American phenomenon. It has become deep-rooted in just a few years in Spain, after Amazon began offering major 'Black Friday' discounts in 2013. In fact, in many cases it doesn't last for one day anymore, but can go on for the weekend or a whole week.
At first, the offers were mainly on technological items but now there are discounts in practically ever sector: fashion, books, music, personal care, and sometimes even cars, weddings, bank loans and cosmetic surgery can be acquired at a fraction of the normal price!
Black Friday is more popular in Spain than almost anywhere else in Europe, with 84 per cent of consumers saying they intend to buy something. A survey of more than 13,000 people in eight European countries has been carried out by the Oliver Wyman consultancy, and it shows that the Spanish and Italians buy the most during this discount period, and are 20 percentage points above the European average, which is 64 per cent.
They are followed, although at quite a distance, by consumers in France (74%), the Netherlands (61%), the UK (60%) and Germany (59%). "People in Spain seem more keen on discounts and promotions," says Luis Baena, the Oliver Wyman representative for Spain.
However, Spanish consumers tend to spend slightly less than the European average on Black Friday discounts, although this is to be expected because average income is lower than in other EU countries. Even so, shoppers in Spain spend an average of 258 euros, which is 14 euros less than average. This level of spending is in line with the fact that Spanish consumers are less demanding than other Europeans when deciding to buy a discounted product. About 17 per cent (the highest percentage of consumers in Europe) say they would buy something which is up to 20 per cent cheaper than normal and only 15 per cent would insist on a reduction of 50 per cent or greater.
The study concludes that around 20 per cent of Spanish consumers are using Black Friday to cover present or future needs, including Christmas gifts, although only six per cent expressed an interest in 'Ciber Monday' on 2 December. Only 18 per cent of those who took part in the survey said they buy spontaneously, compared with 64 per cent of those in France and the European average of 35 per cent. Another attraction of Black Friday is that many offers are available online, so there is no need to queue or battle for bargains.