Black Friday transfers to London's West End
| By Sarah Gengenbach
Sometimes American transfers are met with wild success when they reach the West End. Think The Lion King, Wicked, Kinky Boots, HAMILTON (okay, that last one hasn’t actually arrived yet, but we can agree it’s a forgone conclusion). Other shows that make the trip across the pond receive a much more tepid reception—perhaps you remember The Blue Man Group, Pippin or Hand to God, but you probably don’t.
We can add Black Friday and Cyber Monday to a list of American imports that Brits are divided about. Black Friday has marked the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the United States since the early 1930s but has only made its way to the UK in the past few years. Due to bad publicity and outcry from the public a large number of big box retailers in the UK have been quietly distancing themselves from Black Friday. Last year an incredible £1.1 bn were spent by Black Friday Shoppers in the UK followed closely by £968m on Cyber Monday.
And where does London’s West End fit into this commercial mania? More and more creative fields are trying to capitalise on the pure spending power of the Christmas Deal Finder. Ticket sellers, especially online retailers, are not ones to miss out on an opportunity to drive sales. With Black Friday banners plastered across websites are cheaper theatre tickets in London really on offer? When I had a look I noticed a lot of the Black Friday prices came with the caveat of selected dates and restricted seats. Booking through a site without Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales, but with No Fee Offers and Discount Theatre Tickets (like London Theatre Direct) I found comparable if not cheaper prices with no limitations.
So, my opinion? If you need a manufactured commercial holiday to offer your customers a discount, I’d rather take my business elsewhere. Leave the gimmicks to the big box stores and just offer consistently good pricing year round.