The best deals and shopping tips to get yourself fixed for Christmas
The American tradition of Black Friday is considered the official start of the frantic festive shopping period, falling a month before the big day. With thousands of bargains on offer, from 4K ultra-HD TVs to iPhones, market experts predict consumers to spend £5 billion alone this year – that’s £203 each!
Here’s everything you need to know in order to grab the best bargains on the day.
The origins of Black Friday
A day of huge discounts across electronics and fashion outlets, traditionally Black Friday takes place on the Friday after Thanksgiving. As Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday, in the early days many retailers took advantage of the next day by offering special deals to entice customers who took the Friday off work to enjoy an extended holiday weekend.
The name “Black Friday” was first used in 1966, when the Philadelphia Police Department used this name in reference to the huge traffic jams and overcrowded streets. Some people believe the “Black” refers to the day when stores’ annual balance sheets go from red ink (losses) to black ink (profits). Since 2005, it has routinely been the day of the year with the highest number of sales.
Black Friday in the UK
Asda is owned by Walmart, the biggest supermarket chain in the USA. In 2013, it brought Black Friday to Britain, and it was considered a massive success. In 2014, more retailers got involved, making Black Friday a huge event on the UK high street, with customers virtually queuing out of the door of the biggest department stores to take advantage of the flash sales. Last year’s event was a more muted affair, with shoppers heading online instead to grab themselves a bargain from places like Amazon, enticed by hourly deals. The retailer sold more than 7.4m items in the UK alone, with a record 86 items sold every second!
Where to find the best deals this year
For the first time this year, Amazon.co.uk’s Black Friday Sale is running for 12 days. It finishes at 23:59 on Friday 25 November - and not a minute later! The company intends to offer double the number of deals compared to last year, with savings on gifts like audio products, home accessories and the most popular gadgets.
Technology dealer Curry’s offers buying guides to save customers time and effort ahead of the big day, and gives people the chance to sign up to email alerts so they won’t miss out on the best deals.
Those seeking a cheap winter getaway should keep an eye on travel agents Thomson and First Choice, on Wednesday 23 November.
Don’t forget about Cyber Monday, either. This is the Monday directly following Black Friday and a chance for online retailers to extend their offers or even tease additional ones.
For an overview of the best deals, check out www.blackfridaydealsonline.co.uk, which lists all the UK retailers participating in Black Friday 2016 to allow you to find the best bargains from the comfort of your own couch.