Black Friday 2023 – What To Reduce And Avoid Discounting

As the most important discounting event of the year draws near, lean on EDITED intel to help shape strategies for Black Friday reductions, determining what should and shouldn’t be marked down to save margins from unnecessary damage.

  • With the cost of living crisis fueling the consumer’s quest for a capsule wardrobe, avoid markdowns on versatile staples such as tanks, tees, shirts and jeans. From a subculture point of view, keep Blokette and Cottagecore styles, including sports jerseys, jorts and little white dresses, safe from discounting as these are pegged for success in SS24.
  • As demand for Dopamine Dressing dwindles, mark down colorways that lack longevity in the customer’s closet – starting with neon options. Apply the same outlook to graphic tees and sweatshirts that are quick to become outdated, including Halloween or festive styles. Also, target over-indexed loungewear styles such as cuffed joggers and hoodies.
  • SS24 menswear runway shows signaled continued success for slouchy denim and utility themes, so avoid any styles that fall under this umbrella – namely cargos, technical outerwear and jorts.
  • SS23 performance data highlighted a departure from slim-fit pant styles such as skinny jeans, suit trousers and chinos in menswear. Varsity jacket arrivals also decreased by 87% YoY and dropped off the SS24 runway – emphasizing Black Friday as an opportunity to sell through these styles before the new year.
  • Avoid discounting upcoming licensing opportunities; noting the film releases of PAW Patrol and Trolls as opportunities for full-price sales. In contrast, use Black Friday to shift slow-moving licenses. 49% of Mickey Mouse-themed SS23 arrivals are currently discounted, with customers tired of the year-long Disney celebrations. Also, offer reductions on novelty matching pajama sets and festive-focused attire for affordable holiday gifting inspiration.

What to Avoid Marking Down in 2023

Womenswear – Also seen across menswear, the cost of living crisis has fueled the consumer’s quest for a capsule wardrobe. Hence, retailers should avoid markdowns on versatile staples such as tanks, tees, shirts and jeans. This also includes the trench coat – with its transeasonality proving favorable amid unpredictable weather patterns and seeing SS23 sell outs jump 84% YoY.

From a subculture standpoint, keep Blokette and Cottagecore styles safe from Black Friday discounting. The Women’s World Cup will top up the already high levels of demand for sport-influenced sneakers and jerseys, which pair perfectly with SS24’s hero piece – jorts. Propelled even further forward by the Tomato Girl aesthetic, prioritize puffed, ruffled and lacey white dresses and flouncy maxi skirts as non-sale styles, with predicted success for SS24.

Bermuda shorts/jorts

Denim Longline Board Shorts
Blue
BDG at Urban Outfitters (UK)
GBP42.00

Maxi skirts

Maxi Poplin Skirt
Black_002
Arket at H&M (UK)
GBP79.00

Sports-influenced

Tiro Colorblock Crop Tee
Better scarlet / better scarlet
Adidas Sportswear at Adidas (US)
USD40.00

Staples

Ottoman Crew Tank
Taupe
Abercrombie & Fitch at Abercrombie & Fitch (US)
USD60.00

Cottagecore styles

Structure Tie Detail Mini Dress Offwhite
Snow white
Moa Mattsson x NA-KD at NA-KD (UK)
GBP49.95

Trench coats

Relaxed Mid-Length Trench Coat
Beige_001
& Other Stories at H&M (UK)
GBP165.00

Menswear – In an era of elevated essentials, steer clear of marking down wardrobe staples, including tees, tanks and polos – particularly those in core colorways or crafted from premium or sustainable textiles. With current messaging focused on the value of investing in good-quality basics, capitalize on the ability to sell at full price and avoid implications that these products have a limited shelf life. The continued influence of Quiet Luxury will also help sustain interest in these options, without the need for reductions.

This sentiment also extends to denim, with an emphasis on slouchy jeans and jorts, which are pegged for continued success in 2024. SS24 runway shows also cemented utility themes and technical textiles for another season, so avoid any styles that fall under this umbrella – namely cargos and transeasonal outerwear.

Utility/cargo styles

SHORT-SLEEVED UTILITY SHIRT
Stone
COS at COS (UK)
GBP55.00

Bermuda shorts/jorts

Baggy denim Bermuda shorts
Washed out blue
Bershka at Bershka (US)
USD47.90

Elevated basics

Crew Neck Short Sleeved T-Shirt
30 natural
Uniqlo U at Uniqlo (UK)
GBP14.90

Polos

Knit cotton polo shirt
Sand
Mango at Mango (UK)
GBP32.99

Technical textiles

Hooded technical jacket with ribbed trims
Stone_806
Pull&Bear at Pull&Bear (UK)
GBP45.99

Slouchy jeans

Baggy Jeans
Light denim blue_002
H&M at H&M (US)
USD39.99

Childrenswear – In keeping with menswear and womenswear, stray from reducing staples, including core jersey and denim options, with the consumer turning to a back-to-basics approach to shopping. Particularly avoid markdowns on those that incorporate premium textiles, such as 100% organic or pure cotton styles, taking into account increased demand for elevated essentials that offer value through durability.

PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie and Trolls 3 are set to be released on October 13th and November 17th, respectively (specific region releases may differ), so protect these licenses from discounting.

Cargos

Girls beige jersey cargo trousers
Cream
River Island at River Island (UK)
GBP18.00

Denim

Pocketed denim jacket
Medium blue
Mango at Mango (UK)
GBP27.99

Bomber jackets

QUILTED BOMBER JACKET
Green / blue
Zara at Zara (UK)
GBP25.99

Buzzy licenses

3-Pack Printed T-Shirts
Blue/paw patrol_009
H&M at H&M (US)
USD29.99

Essentials

Unisex Sleep & Play 2-Way-Zip Footed One-Piece for Baby
SKU name as stated on retailer’s website may not match colour displayed in image.
Old Navy at Old Navy (US)
USD12.99

Premium textiles

Pure Cotton Cardigan (2-8 Yrs)
Blue
No Brand at Marks & Spencer (UK)
GBP12.00

What’s Prime for Reduction in 2023?

Womenswear – EDITED’s Spring/Summer 2023 Review showed dwindling demand for Dopamine Dressing, signifying the consumers’ shift towards a more versatile core color palette. While the recent surge in Barbiecore proved there’s still a place for brights, retailers should mark down colorways that lack longevity in the customer’s closet – starting with neon options. Apply the same outlook to graphic tees and sweatshirts that are soon to become outdated, including Halloween or festive styles.

As noted in menswear, traditional loungewear styles fell out of favor for SS23, with 58% of new in sweatpants experiencing end of season discounting. Other comfort styles such as sweatshirts/hoodies and T-shirt dresses also saw decreased demand, with consumers looking to less overtly casual elevated basics. Seek Black Friday discounting as an opportunity to shift slow movers such as cuffed joggers and graphic hoodies.

Lounge bottoms

Grey Tapered Joggers
Grey
Papaya at Matalan (UK)
-60%
GBP4.00

Shackets

Oversized Khaki Shirt Jacket with Washwell
Green camo
Gap at Gap (US)
-77%
USD24.99

Neon options

Lucite Wedge (WW)
Neon yellow
Torrid at Torrid (US)
-58%
USD23.49

T-shirt dresses

Petite Contrast Seam T-shirt Dress
Grey marl
Boohoo Petite at Boohoo (UK)
-53%
GBP7.00

Outdated graphics

White Union Jack Love Liverpool Logo T-Shirt
White
New Look at New Look (UK)
-68%
GBP3.50

Floral dresses

Floral Long Sleeve V-Neck Dress
Pink & black floral|003
Monki at Monki (UK)
-50%
GBP20.00

Menswear – EDITED’s Spring/Summer 2023 Review noted that, though both the US and UK increased their intake of skinny jeans, the subcategory saw one of the highest levels of discounting, with 81% of skinny arrivals discounted, compared to 53% of straight-leg styles. Considering the wider shift towards more relaxed shapes, use Black Friday discounting as an opportunity to sell through slim-fit styles, including tailored suit trousers and chinos.

This being said, SS23 saw a departure from classic comfort dressing styles such as lounge shorts and hoodies, with the latter becoming one of the most discounted subcategories across tops. While these shapes should pick up in popularity as the weather turns cold, use markdowns to shift slow-moving spring/summer stock. Meanwhile, varsity has also passed its heyday, dropping off the runway and seeing SS23 collegiate jacket arrivals drop by 87% YoY.

Varsity jackets

Boxy Checkerboard Melton Pu Varsity Jacket
Cobalt
BoohooMAN at Boohoo (UK)
-54%
GBP30.00

Skinny jeans

Slim Built-In-Flex Ripped Jeans for Men
Dark wash
Old Navy at Old Navy (US)
-52%
USD29.00

Printed shirts

Pure Cotton Hawaiian Cuban Collar Shirt
White mix
Burgs at Marks & Spencer (UK)
-50%
GBP24.00

Hoodies

Heritage Logo Tape Pullover Hoodie
SKU name as stated on retailer’s website may not match colour displayed in image.
Aeropostale at Aéropostale (US)
-78%
USD12.99

Slim-fit suit trousers

Navy slim fit wool premium suit trousers
Navy
River Island at River Island (UK)
-57%
GBP30.00

Chino shorts

9” Relaxed-Fit Chino Short With Flower Embroidery
Dusty khaki
J.Crew at J.Crew (US)
-66%
USD49.99

Childrenswear – Whilst protecting relevant opportunities, use Black Friday as an opportunity to shift licenses that are experiencing dwindling interest. While Disney-themed arrivals have surged in 2023 to commemorate the company’s 100th anniversary, 49% of SS23 options featuring Mickey Mouse are currently discounted. Though the anniversary itself isn’t until October 16th, prepare for customers to tire from year-long celebrations and mark down slow-moving options.

Meanwhile, offer reductions on novelty matching pajama sets and festive-focused attire to provide holiday gifting inspiration for cash-strapped consumers. Also, use the discounting event as a way to move leftover Halloween styles, encouraging parents to get prepped for the following year.

Slow-moving licenses

Tie-Detail Printed Blouse
Black/stranger things_001
H&M at H&M (US)
-60%
USD7.99

Halloween

Disney© Mickey Mouse Halloween Graphic T-Shirt for Boys
Black jack
Old Navy at Old Navy (US)
USD14.99

Festive

Kid’s Team Santa Family Pj Set
Red
Boohoo at Boohoo (UK)
-60%
GBP6.00

Summer accessories

Brit Printed Sun Hat
Blue stripe floral
Joules at Joules (UK)
-50%
GBP4.95

Floral dresses

Toddler 100% Organic Cotton Mix and Match Skater Dress
SKU name as stated on retailer’s website may not match colour displayed in image.
Gap at Gap (US)
-52%
USD12.00

Shorts

Boys grey marl textured shorts
Grey
River Island at River Island (UK)
-56%
GBP7.00