SINGAPORE - Stores are upping the ante for Black Friday, the sales extravaganza that begins on Friday (Nov 24).
The yearly American shopping affair has gained traction in Singapore and both online and bricks-and-mortar stores are pulling out the stops to attract consumers to their offerings.
Country chief executive of Courts Singapore Ben Tan said: "Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping events of the year and a great platform to offer shoppers and bargain hunters unbeatable deals in both the online and offline space."
He added: "This year, our Black Friday promises to be bigger and better with discounts ranging between 12 per cent and 90 per cent off the recommended retail price, across IT, electrical and furniture products, and we plan for this annual sales event months ahead as an integral part of our retail calendar."
Courts began participating in Black Friday in Singapore in 2013, and signs advertising the event went up at its Tampines megastore on Thursday.
Other stores are lengthening their sales period to give customers more time to shop and spend.
All Robinsons stores will open at 7am on Friday and close at 1am on Saturday, instead of its normal opening hours of 10.30am to 10pm.
When Robinsons opened at 7am last Black Friday, queues had already formed outside its store at The Heeren before dawn. Robinsons then said the turnout was "overwhelming".
This year, Robinsons offers will last till Sunday, though the stores will resume their normal operating hours on Saturday.
A spokesman said: "Preparation for this Black Friday Sale has taken us around six months. We have also added more cashier counters and installed additional fitting rooms to cater to the expected increase in customer traffic across all three Robinsons stores."
Other retailers are extending their sales periods to before Black Friday. For example, a Wing Tai Retail spokesman said: "Following overwhelming response to our offers last year, we are extending our main sale from two days to four days - so from Thursday to Sunday."
Here's a Straits Times sampling of the deals customers can enjoy
- Thousands of products go on sale for Black Friday, with many retailers’ websites showing a clock ticking down the hours till the sales extravaganza.
Here’s a Straits Times sampling of the many deals a very small sample of the deals customers can enjoy.
Deal 1: Robinsons
Robinsons is offering an Apple iPhone 8 Plus (256GB) with a minimum spend of $6,000 storewide.
OCBC Robinsons Group Visa Card members who have their eye on the tech giant’s star product will get an Apple iPhone X (256GB) when spending at least $8,000 storewide.
Deal 2: Courts
Black Friday plays out on the furniture retailer’s social media pages this year. You could win a 64GB iPad Pro simply by liking their Facebook page and tagging as many friends as possible in their competition post’s comments section.
Online shoppers can also expect more than 100 deals starting from $1.
Deal 3: Harvey Norman
Harvey Norman has hundreds of offers, such as a Philips air fryer and blender package that costs $329 instead of $539, or a Philips Android 50” LED TV that retails at $798, instead of $1,469.
Deal 4: Gain City
The home-grown electronics chain is slashing the prices of products by almost half, such as an Indesit washer-dryer with a 9kg/6kg capacity selling at $899 instead of $1,698, a discount of 47 per cent. Black Friday only takes place on its website though.
Deal 5: Wing Tai Retail
Brands such as Topshop, Topman and Dorothy Perkins will see sales of up to 50 per cent, while G2000 customers can enjoy discounts of 30 per cent off a minimum of two clothing items.
Wing Tai's brands here include G2000, Topshop, Topman and Dorothy Perkins, and the spokesman added that this year, Fox Kids and Baby will enter the fray for the first time.
Other stores participating in Black Friday for the first time include beauty firm Fujifilm Astalift. Fujifilm Asia-Pacific's life science brand manager Joyce Foo said that the company plans to mark its first year by giving customers "a very attractive discount of 25 per cent storewide with a minimum purchase of two products".
Other industry players are expanding their Black Friday discounts to the offline space. Harvey Norman, for instance,has lined up hundreds of offers across all of its departments at all its bricks-and-mortar stores, in addition to its website.
Some, however, are choosing to limit their promotions to their websites despite their bricks-and-mortar presence.
Managing director of Gain City, Mr Kenny Teo, told The Straits Times: "We are running Black Friday specials on the Gain City website as we believe there is more traction for this campaign via e-commerce."
He said that for the home-grown electronics chain, "more people are willing to purchase bigger ticket items such as washing machines and refrigerators on our e-commerce website. This is in stark contrast to many e-marketplaces which tend to see smaller cart values and smaller ticket items being sold".
Pure e-commerce players want a slice of the pie too, with retailers such as Qoo10, Lazada and Beauty Carousel making more products available for the promotional sales period. Ms Cindy Leong, assistant manager of sales and marketing at Beauty Carousel, said: "We have expanded the categories for the Liberta Armpit Care Range, now covering all needs from head to toe."
However, not everyone is taking part in the sales frenzy, such as furniture giant Ikea.
An Ikea spokesman said: "Low price has always been a part of the Ikea offer and we aim to provide a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products that are affordable to as many people as possible."
He explained that the store constantly strives to reduce prices yearly, saying: "This way, we are able to offer low prices all year long, and will not participate in one-off discount events."
For those looking to snap up the best Black Friday deals, the Wing Tai Retail spokesman gave some advice.
"Shop early. Very often, you get the best selection and offers on the first day of the sale."
Beauty Carousel's Ms Leong went further, saying: "We recommend that consumers act fast to secure their purchases as products may sell out within seconds."