Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Black Friday in London?! I don't think so.

Oxford Circus.

Regent Street.

Piccadilly Circus.

Leicester Square.

Covent Garden.

 Piccadilly Circus - London.

What do these six places have in common (apart from being in central London)? Shops. Consumers. Money. Advertising. A disgusting amount of people yearning to spend all the pennies they possess. Even on the day of the year we are supposed to spend NO MONEY!

This weekend I was in London. After spending a day at a funeral questioning life and how important people and happiness are, not possessions, I still managed to spend my only free couple of hours in Selfridges and Topshop London. You would think this may not have been the case after such an event but even I was sucked into the central cortex of shopping in Britain – Oxford Circus. With Arcadia shops taking over, the square is possessed by Topshop, Niketown, H&M, Starbucks and Harvey Nichols. Not to mention thousands of people queuing to buy Louis Vuitton handbags. Never had I seen the likes of this waiting in line to buy a £500 hangbag at 9pm even in Selfridges, especially considering the economic crisis we are supposed to be living in. AND this was the day after Thanksgiving aka Black Friday, aka people are not supposed to buy anything on this day! However in America I have been informed that is the biggest shopping day of the year…an excuse should we say?


A question popped into my head as I fought my way through the plastic bags and up the alley past the homeless men out of the Tube Station – how much more money does a shop make being at the epicentre of Oxford Circus rather than a few hundred metres down Oxford Street? I bet it’s definalty a significant amount, which I’m determined to find out! The amount of consumers in Topshop (in the centre of Oxford Circus) was about ten times the amount of the 2nd Topshop which is only just down the road. As if we didn’t already know, it shows where something is makes all the difference, and we don’t have any sympathy for special days obviously.

 Photo I took of Topshop, Oxford Circus

But…is this then the same for advertising? Just along Regent Street I come to Piccadilly Circus, Britain’s version of Broadway in New York. Coca-cola, McDonalds, L’Oreal and Maybelline are usual advertisers here with huge flight signs flashing violently covering the Victorian buildings surrounding them. But my question – is an advert more successful here or just back down the street in a calmer place where there aren’t others to steal your eye?

 Photo I took, Niketown, Oxford Circus

Do different things work better in different environments? Yes. But does it depend on the idea, or what you are trying to sell? I believe yes.


P.S. Obviously Black Friday does not exist in the centre of London!

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