UK consumers are to have their first taste of the US Black Friday shopping event in which retailers offer loss-making deals to spur Christmas spending.
Amazon UK is launching a Black Friday event for the first time this year, promising deals including £1 newly-released CDs and heavy reductions on popular games consoles.
But although the event runs from Monday until Friday next week, the offers will only apply to a limited quantity of an item for a short time.
The event comes amid retailer nervousness and shaky consumer confidence, despite figures showing spending picked up last month.
British Retail Consortium spokesman Richard Dodd said: “This move is a reflection of how tough trading conditions are, even in the run up to Christmas, and more evidence of how retail competition benefits customers.
“But, over a period, all retailers have to cover their costs – premises, staff, buying in stock and a reasonable return for investors – so there will always be a limit to the depth and duration of discounts.”
The US event traditionally takes place on the Friday following Thanksgiving and marks the beginning of the shopping season.
Shoppers reportedly spent more than 10 billion US dollars (£6.2 billion) on Black Friday alone last year.
Amazon.co.uk spokesman Brian McBride said: “For many years, shoppers on the other side of the Atlantic have benefited from massive savings offered by retailers around Black Friday, and customers in the UK will now be able to enjoy that same experience.”