US-focused disounts make Black Friday sale a white space in India

While Diwali sale is the biggest shopping carnival in India, Black Friday sales hold similar significance in the US which mark the beginning of the Christmas season. Photo: Shutterstock
If you enter the Amazon India website over the weekend, it has an orange banner on display saying ‘up to 50 per cent off on international brands’. This sale will go on till Monday on the e-commerce website.

Similarly, rival Flipkart has a Black Friday sale running from November 26 to November 30, with some good deals on mobile phones.

Even hospitality websites such as are giving discounts of up to 30 per cent on stays till December 31.

Retail chains such as Shoppers Stop are marketing this sale as ‘Black Friyay’, with up to 50 per cent discount on a range including branded apparel and accessories.

While international brands such as Vero Moda and Marks & Spencer have several deals running during the weekend, home-grown brands such as Forest Essentials are also giving out free gifts during the Black Friday.

While Diwali sale is the biggest shopping carnival in the country, Black Friday sales hold similar significance in the US, which mark the beginning of the Christmas season.

For Indian companies, it has become another event post Diwali to keep customers hooked to their websites, as the next big sale is rolled out around the year-end during Christmas. However, post Diwali weeks are dull in the country, as most of the shopping budget is spent during Dussehra and Diwali period.

“This is just another opportunity for people to buy something that they missed out on during the Diwali sale,” says Pinakiranjan Mishra, partner and National Leader, Consumer Products and Retail, EY India.

This sale, however, has the potential to become a big event in India like the Independence Day sale that was started by the Future Group and later became quite popular. “It is a question of how much hype is created around it,” he says.

Brand experts, too, say while it is still an alien concept in India, it has the potential to take off. “There is a mismatch here, but there are events such as Valentines Day that were a mismatch when they were first started in India... Today, it is a big hit. So, if marketers continue to invest behind this event, it can become big,” says brand expert Harish Bijoor.

At Amazon, more than 70,000 Indian exporters on Amazon’s Global Selling program are geared up to showcase millions of made-in-India products to customers across the world on the annual Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale on, there are limited offers on the India website.

“Most of the big discounts are US-focussed. But, since we are now living in a more connected e-commerce world, companies try to create some buzz back at home with the help of these events,” says Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester.

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