Turkey renames Black Friday in accordance with Muslim sensitivities
There were no gigantic midnight queues as the gates of stores or shopping malls across Turkey in the early hours of Nov. 23, but every year the country embraces the so-called “Black Friday” shopping spree, with more online businesses joining discount campaigns.
Amazon.com was this year’s major newcomer after the company launched its Turkey operations in September.
“Hurry up not to miss wonderful opportunities,” read a message in Turkish on the website of the online shopping company.
No companies used the term “Black Friday” in naming their campaigns to avoid attributing negative connotations to a day sacred for Muslims, with Amazon picking the “Awaited Friday” title.
The new player launched its campaign on Nov. 19, which will be finalized on Nov. 26 with “Best Friday,” a localized version of “Cyber Monday.”
Turkish giant Hespiburada.com rivaled the United States-based company with a campaign that started four hours before midnight on Nov. 22 and ended before Nov. 24, setting a high goal for its sales volume that it normally reaches in 45 days. It sold 2 million products through more than half a million orders during last year’s campaign.
Gittigidiyor.com, another local actor, claimed discounts up to 80 percent, remaining loyal to the traditional Black Friday hours.
Teknosa, the local electronics retailer owned by Turkish conglomerate Sabancı Holding, named its campaign—both online and at stores—“Techno Friday.”
Its rival Media Markt’s campaign was titled “Fabulous Friday.”
Arçelik, the home appliances arm of Turkey’s biggest industrial company Koç Holding, ran a campaign that extended through the weekend, offering discounts up to 3,000 Turkish Liras, roughly $560, in electronic goods.
Trendyol, a popular online fashion retailer, launched a five-day “Legendary Sales” campaign on the same days with its rival Morhipo’s “Black Sales.”
Experts warned consumers against fraud that usually aims to reach consumers’ personal data, calling on them to stay away from “irrational” discounts.
Cenk Çiğdemli, an e-commerce systems developer who also has role in the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) branch on the matter, said shoppers should compare prices on different websites.
“E-commerce fraud can easily construct simple websites for this special day to sell goods that do not exist,” he said.
He said both shoppers and retailers might be subject to fraud.
Many consumers, on the other hand, have complained on social media that some campaigns are no better than other sales during the year or some companies had already increased prices to claim larger discount rates in campaigns.
Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, was named because spending in the U.S. would surge and retailers would traditionally begin to turn a profit for the year—moving from red to black. It falls on Nov. 23 this year.
Its popularity has meant Britain’s Christmas trading season now has three peaks—around Black Friday, the week up to Dec. 25 and post-Christmas sales.
Like last year, retailers are stretching promotions over one to two weeks, seeking to smooth out demand and reduce pressure on supply and distribution networks.