Shoppers will spend nearly £8billion this weekend as stores slash prices for Black Friday.

Discounts on some products are expected to be so big that sellers will actually make a loss.

Retailers are using bargains to lure shoppers through the door – as they struggle to reverse a drop in sales fuelled by a squeeze on household budgets.

Price cuts of 40 to 50 per cent are being promoted on many clothes and electricals, with the biggest deals seeing around two-thirds knocked off the cost.

A record number of stores are running promotions as they fear losing business to rivals or online giant Amazon.

Even Next has felt the pressure, and for the first time has brought forward its Boxing Day sale to start at 3am today. It has previously refused to hold sales in the run-up to Christmas.
就连软件公司Next都倍感压力,第一次将节礼日(Boxing Day,12月26日)促销提前到今天凌晨三点,以前Next在圣诞节前从未降过价。

Spending across the board is expected to be up 7 per cent on last year to reach £7.8billion over four days from today, according to the Centre for Retail Research and Voucher Codes website.
零售研究和凭证代码中心(Centre for Retail Research and Voucher Codes)网站说,海外购从今天算起,预计四天的销售额将达78亿欧元,相比去年上涨7%。

The warm autumn means fashion sellers are looking to offload masses of unsold coats, boots and woollens.

Meanwhile industry data has shown a slump in sales of furniture and household electricals from washing machines to TVs. These products will have particularly big reductions.

However some analysts warn that the price cuts could amount to disastrous self-harm. Apart from potentially selling items at a loss, there are huge costs involved in delivering items bought online and handling returns.

James Brown, from pricing experts Simon-Kucher, warned: 'Black Friday is now a real experience and shoppers love finding a bargain. 
定价咨询公司西蒙顾和(Simon-Kucher)的杰姆斯·布朗(James Brown)说:“黑五现在已经成为实实在在的购物节了,消费者都喜欢讲价。”

'But for some businesses they will slash prices so much that they accidentally turn it into their most disastrous day of the year.

'We've reviewed thousands of promotions by hundreds of businesses, and we're confident that many will make dramatically less than they expect.Some will even make a loss.'

Retail analyst Richard Hyman described Black Friday as 'crazy' in terms of damaging profits.
零售业分析师理查德·海曼(Richard Hyman)说,黑五对利润的打击简直是“毁灭性的”。

'Much of the trade would love to opt out but in this weakest of all retail markets, few have succeeded,' he said. 'With demand thin, Black Friday will essentially suck Christmas sales forward. For Amazon it's a stick with which to beat the industry.'

There was evidence of the issues facing stores as it emerged yesterday that two chains – furniture store Multiyork and shoe firm Shoon – are in trouble. Multiyork, which has 50 shops, has gone into administration. Shoon, with six shops, is also set to call in administrators – though it may be sold.
昨天,零售业的问题显现出来——家具品牌Multiyork 和鞋品牌Shoon都陷入了困境。Multiyork有50家分店,已经全部开始破产保护,Shoon的6家分店即将开启破产保护,也可能会被转手。

Some estimates suggest the Black Friday weekend will hoover up 40 per cent of all spending on Christmas. Amazon was at the forefront of bringing the American sale event to the UK in 2010. In the US, Black Friday comes on the day after Thanksgiving.

Research by PricewaterhousCoopers suggests half of adults will buy something in the sales – with the average spend £200. Lisa Hooker, from PwC, said: 'Retailers can't afford not to have a Black Friday promotion.'
互联网公司PricewaterhousCoopers做了调查,表示一般的消费者会在黑五购物,平均花费200欧元。丽萨·胡克(Lisa Hooker)说:“没有商家敢在黑五当天不打折。”