7 powerful steps to plan and execute your own Black Friday or Boxing Day Sale.

The 4th Thursday in November is thanksgiving in America – the next day see’s a mad rush on the High Street which in recent years has generated billions of dollars of sales (globally) in a single weekend. This year Black Friday will be Friday 23rd Nov and the sales event will run over the extended weekend.

Friday is a holiday in the US and they see chaos on their High Street’s. Here in the UK it is a working day and our High Street’s are usually busy on the Friday and across the weekend. In the UK, we have experienced the queues outside John Lewis’s and Next before Boxing Day for many years.

As we know Retail is not just about the High Streets and Black Friday deals will start being available online from midnight Thursday 22nd Nov. Amazon and Argos do very well in this respect, a massive £1.4 bn was spent online on Nov 24, 2017. Some retailers like B&Q have announced that they do not intend to run any Black Friday promotions this year. Considering the current climate, this year’s Black Friday event will be a good indictor of the general future of the High Street and 2019 is likely to bring.

In this report we talk about how to plan and run your own Sales Promotion. The 7 steps  shared will help you organise and run your own successful event and are relevant for a Black Friday, Boxing Day or any other sales promotion.

1)    When picking your special offer, you have to make it desirable. So it should be a massive discount (I would go suggest more than 60% off, 75% is a good number in my opinion) which really gets people queuing up outside your door. You don’t need to have everything at that discount level, but you should have a selection of products available with massive discounts to make the customer feel its a special event. The other thing is to make sure you have something eye catching, electronics are easy as everyone loves a TV or a tablet for instance.

2)    You need to make the available quantity limited, so that people realise they need to queue up for it. If you have 10,000 available units at the special price, what’s so special about it, but if you only have 100 available, then you will create the scarcity that people need to queue up for. The term I like here is, Doorbuster; What will the queue of customers be breaking your door down to get their hands on?

3)    Next plan for the duration of the event, is it just a single day event or are you going to do a weekend or maybe a week? Make sure you have a number of Doorbusters for every day of the promotion you want to run, this will help you get a queue every day. Again if you want to create a sense of urgency, then you should not be planning on an event that runs for a month, you need to make it clear that this is a limited time offer

4)    It’s important to have a series of products available on offer and not focus just on the specific Doorbusters. Your event will be really successful if you sell other products as well as your doorbusters. If your doorbuster is a 42” TV’s then there’s no reason why you cannot also do promo’s on 37” TV’s as well. The retailer Next will have a specific section where they have the massive discounted items, but will also have a lot of similar products on sale.

5)    It can be a great opportunity to sell off summer stock or other things that you may want to get rid of, so don’t just think about the Doorbusters, think about other things you can sell as well. Something I do, is pay a lot of attention to where in the store you position the Doorbuster. Supermarkets will not position Milk and Bread near the front of their stores, instead customers will have to walk through other products to get the promo items. Have a section of the store setup, away from the actual door where the Doorbusters are going to be available. Ideally you want to have the shelves emptied within the first hour of trading every day of your sale. Remember the idea of having the promotion offer is to not only sell the Doorbusters, but also to upsell and cross sell other products as well, so have promotions on other things as well around the store.

6)   A good idea is to not allow exchanges during this sale period so that your staff are fully focussed on making sales. Some businesses will also not give refunds on the doorbuster items sold. M&S are considering not running any promotions this year to counter the ‘chaos it causes in store’ when people rush to buy and then return a few days later. This does not affect customers statutory rights, but needs to be clearly explained before the customer before they make a purchase in the sale.

7)    The final thing to discuss is how you can make sales around the event. Consider having online offers as well and not just focussing purely on the customers who physically come to your store. Many customers may want to stay in their warms beds than queue up for the doorbusters. Having the online ability to make sales is important to attract those customers as well. The other you could consider is whether you want to offer your regular customers or members (if you run a membership scheme) a specific preview event? For this you need an email or postal distribution list that you can use to send out the event information to. It’s a great way of giving more value back to your regular’s by offering them a specific time slot when only they can buy.

Remember you can use this formula to run events all through the year, you don’t need to wait till for Black Friday or Boxing Day.

Accompanying Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAbluFEuEv0

NAC work in the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality sector. We are Customer Focus enablers and help our clients understand and engage their customers better, to convert them in Raving Fans.

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