>> UK retailers are bracing themselves for the biggest discount shopping day of the year. Black Friday, a US import, has become a regular feature in the UK shopping calendar, now entering its fifth year. This time it's forecast to break last year's record takings. Analysts say revenue could increase by 38%, to $3.6 billion.
Reuters' correspondent, James Davey in London says the day has become crucial for the trading season.>> It's now become a key fixture in the retail calendar, which is now focused around kicking off with Black Friday, is one peak. Then you get a peak in the few days before Christmas.
And then you get another peak in the post Christmas sales. And in between, you get little values where the trade is less intense.>> However, this year Black Friday in the UK will be a largely online affair. Retailers and customers were put off by the chaos in stores in 2014, when many scuffles broke out over bargains.
Shoppers are instead expected to focus on finding deals online. Critics have questioned if Black Friday makes commercial sense for retailers, but companies appear to be adjusting accordingly.>> Retailers argue that if they plan it very carefully, and with their own supplies, they can still kick-start sales and get a decent margin.
I mean, the analysts argue that the problem with it is it brings forward sales that they have to discount, that they would have made it full price. But retailers are looking to work around it, and they can still make a decent margin.>> Some retailers will extend their promotion over a few days to manage increasing demands, and reduce pressure on their distribution infrastructure.
As companies learn how to better tackle Black Friday, and as shoppers' enthusiasm increases, there's no doubt the holiday event is here to stay.