After a historic Black Friday and a very different pre-Christmas sales season in 2020, businesses recognize that in 2021 it is time to lift the foot off the gas (even compared to other years) and offer more moderate sales. The supply crisis has put their stocks in check and there is a risk of shortages of many products for Christmas. Therefore, they recognize that it makes little sense to enter aggressive price cuts in November and argue that it is time to be more conservative.
This is how it is understood by the employers’ association of manufacturers and distributors, AECOC, which in statements to elEconomista.es acknowledge that “most companies are doing an exercise of restraint in order not to raise prices in a really very complex scenario” (increase in transport, packaging materials, energy, etc.). For this reason, they emphasize that “in this situation, it is probable that the strategy of some companies is, precisely to continue containing prices, not to make such aggressive reductions as in other years in this final stretch of the year.”
In any case, from AECOC they rule out that there are shortages in general terms. However, they do open the door to ” punctual absences of very specific articles in computing, telephony and gaming can be registered “. These specific sectors especially suffer from the lack of components that come from Asia and, with the broken supply chain , they are emerging as the most affected while the crisis lasts. Especially if there are peaks in demand for specific products from these areas.
A lawsuit that they believe could exceed the records of the year 2020, which was historic. The pre-Christmas of the pandemic resulted in a 19% growth in technological goods and, in general terms, orders soared by 27% . They defend that the secret to repeating these figures will be in non-technological sectors such as textiles, which in 2020 “still had many restrictions.”
From the 3dids consultancy, which manages the e-commerce of more than 60 firms, they also agree that this year the sales will be more humble and that in many cases, directly, they will not occur. “This year customers should not expect big discounts ” says its CEO Andrés from Spain. “There are many businesses that take it for granted that they will run out of stock in the coming months ” and that “they even think about stockpiling raw materials so as not to have manufacturing problems next year.”
Many businesses “directly will not make discounts”
In that sense, Andrés from Spain foresees a shorter and more limited sales season. In fact, he adds that many businesses ” are not going to make discounts directly .” And, regarding shortages, from 3dids they explain that “we must not fool ourselves, we are going to find that some products will not arrive on time and others will go up in price”.
Sectors such as toys were already warning that transportation problems are going to make shortages a more than real option. “Transportation problems can compromise the replacement of merchandise of some of the references that are more successful and these delays can cause the merchandise to arrive late”, recognizes the Spanish Association of Toy Manufacturers (Aefj).
When is Black Friday 2021 on Amazon, Zara, El Corte Inglés, MediaMarkt, Mango or Decathlon
Situations like this could be replicated in other sectors dependent on other regions, so experts recommend that consumers anticipate, be proactive and move forward as soon as possible in Christmas shopping if they do not want to see themselves in the situation that some products can no longer be acquired. And, aside from shortages , in many sectors the struggle is to avoid price increases in the face of rising transport costs, so that a possible peak in demand in late November and December could do even more damage to the chain. logistics and, consequently, prices.
In any case, large companies have the most muscle to keep bidding and keep up, despite the crisis. This is happening with firms such as Amazon, Inditex, El Corte Inglés, Mediamarkt or Mango that have already advanced their offers. As they did last year, they consolidate the trend towards Black November and, instead of trusting their promotion to a few days (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.), they are opting to offer longer sales seasons to serve consumers.