Independent shops are struggling with Black Friday

By Sophie Atkinson

With Black Friday upon us, and major retailers slashing their prices by up to 50% off, independent shops are struggling to keep up. 

As big names are offering deals in stores and online, there are fears that independent shops cannot match the sales.

There are expectations that Brits will spend more than £7 billion today, according to, with the day becoming more popular this year. But, Debbie, the owner of Little Pink Wardrobe says the day is having “a detrimental effect on small businesses.”

Outside the ladies fashion store Little Pink Wardrobe

Little Pink Wardrobe

“The massive advertising machines of the internet and the high street go into overdrive, the public are sucked in to this false image of a bargain is everything, and gone is individuality.”

While the UK high street is seeing more shop closures, from retailers such as Debenhams and Poundworld, Leeds Corn Exchange, a grade one listed structure which is home to vintage and small businesses, has regained popularity after the restoration in 2007.

Inside the Corn Exchange, Leeds

Corn Exchange

The owner of the Little Pink Wardrobe says “We should all take a step back and think what our commercial world is coming to, soul-less, and it’s just greed from massive overseas companies that do not contribute to our society.”

Claire Riley, the cofounder of Our Handmade Collective agrees and says they “cannot compete with huge discount deals and crazy offers.”

“(…) we shouldn’t be made to feel that we have to compete like that…independent businesses need your help and support more than ever!”

Ahead of Black Friday, a campaign was launched named ‘Just a Card’ which aims to support independent shops and creatives by encouraging people to buy from them, no matter how small a purchase. This has gained momentum on social media and Visa have recently released a Christmas advert promoting the use of local shops.

Co-founder of Our Handmade Collective is “hopeful this year will have less of an impact,” and she predicts “exposure for campaigns such as Just a Card and the Visa ad” will help show the importance of supporting small, independent retailers.

A chart showing sales for the previous three years of spending during Black Friday weekend.

Projected sales for the Black Friday weekend over the past three years.


About the Author

This article was produced by a student or students on the BA in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University.

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