Over the past decade, November in the UK has become the month of “Black Friday” in the retail world. Everywhere you look on the high street, various retailers are offering “Black Friday” promotions.
As a child of the 80s, November and December retail was all about Christmas trading until 27th December when everything was discounted, and shoppers would queue up to grab a bargain after the Christmas and Boxing Day bank holidays.
You may be wondering where this Black Friday phenomenon came from. The concept is an export from the USA. As Thanksgiving always falls on the 4th Thursday of November, the Friday following the Thanksgiving holiday is a day of heavy discounting by American retailers. The much-loved and oftentimes controversial online retail giant, Amazon brought the concept into the UK in 2010 by offering a range of promotions and discounts online. In 2013, supermarket chain Asda, held its own Black Friday sale which then hit the headlines as it resulted in chaos as customers physically fought for discounted televisions and electronic goods. Since then, Black Friday has grown significantly throughout the UK, with more and more retailers taking the opportunity to hold sales in November.
Unapologetically, Gatwards will never (in my lifetime) offer a Black Friday promotion and here is why:
At Gatwards, we pride ourselves on our longevity as we strive to give our customers the best possible value in all the jewellery that we have, and we will only ever stock items of the highest quality. Everything we sell is hand-selected by our knowledgeable and experienced buying team with the aim in mind that items purchased from Gatwards can be worn and treasured over many lifetimes. Just as our business has been here, standing the test of time on Hitchin’s High Street for 8 generations and almost 260 years, we want our customers to feel confident that anything they purchase from us is made to last.
In a time of over-consumption and when the term “sustainability” is having increasing prominence, it is important to remember that the jewellery we sell is made from materials which all have value. Gold, silver and platinum will all retain value and can be melted down and re-purposed. Gemstone jewellery can also be re-purposed into new designs as tastes change and evolve across generations. There is some evidence to suggest that online shopping is not as sustainable as we once thought with goods being trucked around the country for delivery and then again if returns need to be made.
Black Friday in the UK started its life online and whilst we do have an online offering at Gatwards, our goal is giving all our customers an outstanding in-store experience. We want to “put the sparkle” into buying jewellery. What does that mean? Most people come to see us to buy a piece of jewellery to mark a special moment in their lives – whether that’s an engagement, a big birthday, a big wedding anniversary, the arrival of a new baby or a special Christmas present for a loved one - whatever the occasion, we want to go out of our way to make that moment special.
Fine jewellery needs to be seen, touched and felt and so we know that when you come in to see us, we must be here to serve. Our building dates back to the tudor times and with its wonky floors and beams, you really are stepping back in time when you enter our showroom.
When you look at the wall behind our main counter, you will see photos of all 8 generations of Gatwards displayed alongside the training certifcates of all the people who work for us. Aside from the aesthetics of our shop, every team member is highly trained to give you a personalised service to help you find exactly what you are looking for and give you a Gatwards experience to remember.
So, if you are looking for the highest quality products with unrivalled customer service and an in-store experience, then please come in and see us at Gatwards this Black Friday.