Spanish Consumers’ Association warns against Black Friday offers: ‘More fiction than reality’

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Black Friday offers

MADRID – The Spanish consumer organisation OCU warns consumers about the discounted offers during Black Friday. According to OCU, many of these discounts are more fiction than reality.

Nevertheless, it is expected that 84% of Spanish consumers will participate in this shopping period. This is evident from a study conducted by the organisation. These consumers will be influenced by brand and store advertising and make purchases based on that. This is an increase compared to last year’s 82%.

The survey, which collected responses from 1,027 consumers aged 18 to 74, shows that the average planned spend is €237, compared to the €217 spent last year. The fashion, footwear and accessories sectors are expected to be the most popular, followed by electronics, small appliances and toys. Many consumers are also planning to take advantage of the Black Friday sales to make holiday purchases.

Impulsive buying behaviour

However, the OCU warns that half of respondents exhibited impulsive purchasing behaviour during Black Friday, such as spending too much money or purchasing unnecessary items. Only 6% of Spanish consumers plan to shop mainly in physical stores, while 27% plan to shop exclusively online and 32% prioritise online shopping.

Many consumers are also skeptical about offers

Furthermore, 67% of respondents are skeptical about Black Friday deals, with many believing that some stores increase prices before applying discounts, leaving final prices comparable to pre-sale levels. Still, 71% of respondents think it’s worth shopping on Black Friday because of the possible discounts.

Hashtag #timofertasBF

The OCU encourages consumers to report any price irregularities on their social media platforms using the hashtag #timofertasBF. This allows them to identify illegal practices and report them to consumer authorities.

Apparent discounts

Previous price monitoring by the OCU during Black Friday has shown that discounted prices rarely match the lowest prices of the last 30 days as required by regulations, and in some cases, prices refer to the manufacturer’s recommended price. So according to OCU Most Black Friday discounts are not as affordable as they seem. Consumers are advised to compare prices and offers carefully before making purchases. The OCU emphasises the importance of transparency in price statements, where both the original price and the percentage discount must be clearly indicated. This is to prevent consumers from being misled by bogus discounts.

Black Friday in Spain

Black Friday, known as the kick-off of the Christmas season in America, has found its way into the heart of Spanish retail. This day, which has various origin theories, marks the start of Christmas shopping in the United States after Thanksgiving. In Spain, Black Friday really started to take shape around 2013 and 2014, becoming an unmissable shopping period in 2015.

Also read: 12 sustainable ways to turn Black Friday into a Feel Good Friday

The popularisation of Black Friday in Spain can largely be attributed to major retailers and electronics giants such as Mediamarkt. They were the pioneers in 2012 by offering significant discounts, setting the trend for other stores. Since then, Black Friday has emerged in Spain as an important period of discounts, with both major chains and local stores participating.

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