By Charlie Duffield
Black Friday has become the biggest - and perhaps most famous - shopping day of the year, allowing Brits to grab bargains in the run up to Christmas.
It’s an import from the USA, which always falls on the Friday after the public Thanksgiving holiday. Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving is given as an extra day off for some workers.
The shopping day has become associated with lengthy queues and images of frantic shoppers squabbling and fighting over the last heavily discounted item in store.
In 2018, a YouGov poll revealed 29% of Britons intended to purchase their Christmas gifts in November - and with Black Friday falling at the end of the month, it’s set to be a big event.
The sales weekend has particularly boosted online sales, as more consumers use smartphones and click and collect services; in 2018, Black Friday generated £1.49 billion from UK online retail sites, according to IMRG.
Here’s everything you need to know about Black Friday 2019.
When is Black Friday?
This year Black Friday is on Friday 29 November and will last all weekend, finishing with the online-only day of sale, Cyber Monday on 2nd December.
Unlike previous years, Black Friday will happen late in November, so eager shoppers looking to secure Christmas bargains will have less than a month to make a purchase.
However, it’s worth remembering that Black Friday deals are advertised in store and online much further in advance, sometimes as early as mid October.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the name given to the shopping day after Thanksgiving when major retailers and brands offer huge discounts on goods and products, from household appliances and cosmetics to holidays and clothes.
It’s now recognised as a major annual shopping event for those eager to snag a bargain in the run up to Christmas.
The term ‘Black Friday’ was originally used to refer to the financial crisis, and it signals the part of the year when retailers begin to turn a profit and transfer from “in the red” to “in the black”.
Another theory originates in the 1960s when The Philadephia Police earmarked the phrase to reference the mayhem from pedestrian and vehicle traffic on that day.
The emergence of the multinational technology company Amazon helped solidify Black Friday as a regular occurrence in the UK, with their site offering deals in 2010 and UK retailers soon doing the same.
However, in 2014 when Walmart-owned Asda ran a Black Friday campaign, police had to get involved as customers brawled over bargains and fights broke out. There was a social media backlash and the following year Asda banned the spending day.
Black Friday has also been criticised for encouraging excessive consumerism, and distorting the traditional pattern of spending at Christmas time.
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Where are the Black Friday deals?
Amazon’s Black Friday 2019 sales will last for eight days this year, running from 00:01 on 22 November 2019 to 23:59 on 29 November 2019. There will be ‘Deals of the Day’ as well as ‘Lightening Deals’ - products available at a discounts, in limited quantities, for a short period of time.
Airlines including EasyJet and British Airways will be reducing their prices, and if you’re looking for some homeware or furniture bargains, check out stores including Anthropologie, Habitat, Made, Swoon Editions and Soak & Sleep.
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