Just eight years ago, practically no one in Spain knew about the existence of Black Friday. Today it has become the official starting signal for Christmas shopping. The date, originally on the Friday before the holiday weekend of Thanksgiving in the US, was imported by the big operators and has already turned into a whole sales campaign concentrated in one day (or three or four in some brands) that allows to glimpse how Christmas sales will be, the main course of commerce.
After seven years in Spain and despite some forecasts of wear, the phenomenon remains strong, with large and small traders from all sectors. But the hooks work better for the former. In the center of Madrid, the streets have filled this Friday. The Christmas lights were lit in the afternoon and shops already had Christmas decorations. It coincided with the inauguration of the renovation of the Gran Via, so the nearby streets were animated with a certain pre-Christmas and festive atmosphere.
In stores, the products most sought after by bargain lovers were textiles and technology. The section of mobile telephones and televisions were the busiest for the customers of the Fnac in the Plaza del Callao. "It's been a very intense day, you see more people than yesterday even though we also had discounts," said a saleswoman in the middle of the afternoon. "We are overwhelmed, we do not stop attending people," commented two employees of the music section of the Fnac.
On the Gran Vía, consumers were mainly looking for offers in the big clothing chains. Tails were formed in the boxes of Zara, Primark or Lefties. Laura and Marta, two young twenty-year-olds, had been shopping all day. "We have bought a lot of clothes, there are many discounts of 20% and 30%," said Laura. "In the morning it was more pleasant, there would not be so many people. Now in the afternoon it is a bit overwhelming and we have to wait a long time to pay, "protested Marta.
"It's the best campaign of the year along with that of air conditioners," says a Tien 21 employee
Stores and e-commerce companies have turned to Black Friday offers. Not only in the center of the city. Some shops on Avenida de la Albufera, in the Madrid district of Vallecas, also announced in their shop windows that they had climbed into the Black Friday car. And on Marcelo Usera Street, some small neighborhood stores also tried discounts. However, in the small neighborhood store, the shopkeepers recognized that they were not noticing a rebound in sales, although some had been reducing products all week.
"People prefer to buy on the Internet"
"I've put 15% discounts on the entire catalog for this Friday and Saturday but very few consumers are interested. I'm alone in the store. People prefer to buy their clothes online even though they are of lower quality, because they send it home and it is cheaper. Small stores can not compete with that, "said Antonio Herranz resigned, owner of a fashion store for men in Vallecas.
In another nearby store, a shoe store, its owner had not succeeded either. He had put discounts of up to 70% on some products and 50% on the rest of the catalog. But the store was almost empty.
The big brands, or at least the chain stores, are the ones that take most of the cake. Even outside of the big commercial roads. Rafael Heras, in charge of an appliance store Tien 21 on Avenida de la Albufera, said it was a good day. "We have had more sales throughout the week. It is the best campaign of the year along with that of the air conditioners, "he commented. He assured that the sales that once were only made during the Christmas campaign, have now been advanced to the last weeks of November. The day also seemed to smile at the Galvez sports chain. "We make discounts this Friday and this Saturday. People have already started to get interested and we have a good sales morning. Last year we went up a lot, we had a lot of turnover ", explained, optimist, Amado Fernández, in charge of the store.
Long lines in the boxes of Zara, Primark or Lefties