“In the dark and with a flashlight”. How Black Friday will be held in Kyiv in 2022

Despite the war and power outages, “Black Friday” – a week of deep discounts and large-scale sales, which traditionally falls at the end of November – will be held as planned in Ukrainian SECs and stores this year. Retailers are actively preparing and already announcing promotional offers for customers. However, most likely, not all sellers will be able to organize uninterrupted lighting of spaces before this event, experts interviewed by UBR.ua expressed their opinion. About when and on which products the biggest discounts will be offered, whether they will be able to attract buyers and increase attendance at SECs, as well as about other features of “Black Friday” in 2022 – further in the material.

In the atmosphere of Halloween. Are SECs ready for light outages on Black Friday

After the massive shelling of the Ukrainian energy infrastructure, the biggest problem for trade became the provision of backup power supply during emergency power outages. Companies have been installing it for about a month. But even where it is impossible to provide uninterrupted lighting for various reasons, there are ways to sell the product. As the Retailers’ Association of Ukraine (RAU) writes with reference to the interviewed companies, although in most cases they are faced with forced blackouts in street shops, but this is not uncommon in shopping centers as well. In some places, centralized lighting does not work for 7-8 hours a day.

Power outages reduce the income of entrepreneurs – in the “ALLO” network they say that sales drop by 20% in those stores where the lighting disappears regularly. They try to prevent the outflow of customers with the help of discounts – in the Eldorado network, they are given to those customers who did not have time to complete the purchase due to the loss of electricity, if they return to the store later.

In the Foxtrot network, during a power outage and the inability to ensure the operation of cash registers and POS terminals, alternative ways of making a purchase are offered – through LiqPay, using a QR code, through chatbots in Viber/Telegram, with the Binance Pay application. As noted on the Facebook page of Lavina Mall, one of the largest shopping centers in Kyiv, “if the terminal is not working, you can simply transfer money to the card.”

Businesses are actively preparing to receive customers on Black Friday and now: according to the RAU article, the retail chain “Territory MIN” was going to have time to install generators for all its points, and the cosmetics sales chain ISEI is buying flashlights so that customers can choose the product without central lighting.

However, stores located in SECs are more dependent on them regarding the organization of electricity supply. As the general director of KarKat Fashion company (the official representative of women’secret, Springfield and Pedro del Hierro brands in Ukraine) Ihor Zabulonskyi told us, not all shopping centers in the capital are equipped with generators, although they are working on it. The task is complicated, Zabulonskyi clarified, by the shortage of generators and long delivery times. “As I know, the deliveries are not in time for Black Friday and the generators will arrive in December,” said the general director of KarKat Fashion.

Some SECs were able to provide the possibility of connecting lights in public areas, but not in the boutiques themselves, added Zabulonskyi. According to information on Lavina Mall’s website, their generators are able to keep stores open, but the play area, movie theater, food court and supermarket remain without power during emergency outages. According to Zabulonsky, some shopping centers that do not have generators maintain minimal lighting in the galleries using less powerful sources, such as LED garlands. At the same time, according to his observations, semi-darkness does not interfere too much with trade: “I think people even like to make purchases in such an atmosphere, like Halloween, it’s like something unusual.”

“Many SECs also work during emergency shutdowns, in the dark. At the same time, customers are very active with flashlights, turn them on on their phones and look for goods. I think this will happen on Black Friday as well. The main thing is for the SEC to give minimal light in the gallery and people could come in”, Zabulonskyi believes.

Will customers come to the shopping center for purchases

Zabulonsky believes that people now go to shopping centers not only for shopping, but also for “communication, socialization, to distract themselves from the bad aspects of today’s life”. Therefore, the number of visitors to the shopping center will increase on Black Friday, as in previous years.

For her part, the director of the consulting company Ukrainian Trade Guild (UTG) Evgenia Loktionova does not expect high attendance at the shopping center on Black Friday. According to her, attendance has decreased by 35% since the beginning of the war. She assumed that during Black Friday attendance will increase relative to today’s level by 5-10%. At the same time, the share of online sales will grow much more significantly. “Most likely, with approximately the same number of visitors, the average check will increase, because during such events people come not just to leisurely look at the assortment, but to purposefully make a purchase. In general, promotions like Black Friday are held precisely for maximum sales. , in today’s situation, you can count not on maximum sales, but simply on their growth”, said the director of UTG Loktionova. Attendance at the capital’s SECs fell by 35%: Ukrainians are cutting costs and prefer online shopping. The expert assumed that the average purchase per person could increase on Black Friday by one and a half to two times. The biggest growth can be observed in the technology and electronics segment, she added.

What will be the discounts and for which products

In addition to problems with lighting, one of the features of Black Friday this year will be a less active advertising campaign to promote promotions on the part of stores, Loktionova noted. Also, the event will be charact erized by the absence of entertainment events.

As for the rest, this year’s Black Friday will be no different from the previous ones. Some stores will start offering discounts before Black Friday itself, which this year falls on November 25, and after it – on the weekend of November 26 and 27. According to RAU, some retailers will continue their Black Friday sales until November 30, and one store will hold them for a whole month. “As usual, at first they will give minimum discounts of about 10%, and already on Black Friday they will become maximum”, said Loktionova about the retail marketing strategy. Compared to other sales, one of the key features of Black Friday is the provision of deep discounts on new clothing collections and current models of household appliances. “Usually, clothing stores give discounts on out-of-season goods, on the other hand, on Black Friday, you can buy a discount, for example, a jacket from the new collection”, said the UTG director.

However, as the general director of KarKat Fashion noted, fashion retailers now have problems with the supply of goods – from the moment of shipment to hitting the shelves more time passes, so it is likely that some stores will not have time to bring in new items.

“Accordingly, they will have fewer opportunities for discounts. But I think that everyone who has opened and works will try to provide discount offers at a high level”, said Zabulonskyi. Not all will work. Large international fashion brands – H&M, Inditex (Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Pull and Bear), as well as in the field of household goods – Ikea have not yet returned to Ukraine. According to Loktionova, their return will take place after the end of the war.

As the UTG expert mentioned, the biggest sales should be expected in the technology and electronics segment. They will grow at the expense of practical goods in the current situation – generators, power banks. Therefore, Loktionova advises those who have not yet purchased them to wait for the “night of the shopaholic”. “Why not, if you are offered a 10-15% discount on a generator worth 20,000 hryvnias?” – she concluded.