In the United States Black Friday is absolute madness. It is the ultimate US shopping tradition and is becoming more and more prevalent throughout the world and even right here in the UK. So what exactly is Black Friday? Officially it is the day after Thanksgiving in the US but the term Black Friday was originally coined back in the 1800s and was used to describe the stock market crashing. Today it has a much more positive connotation for buyers as it marks the beginning of the festive Christmas shopping period and promises bargains for all.
Black Friday was officially titled the biggest shopping day of the year in 2001, usurping this title from Christmas Eve. When you have a close look at the tradition in the US you can see clearly why. A total of twenty-two states consider the day a public holiday. Most retailers open for business at 6:00am but as Black Friday has grown in madness it seems that so have the retailers - some now open their doors as early as 5:00 or 4:00am! It’s commonplace to see eager buyers setting up camp the night before so that they are first in.
Even though Black Friday has now become somewhat of a tradition in the UK, something you won’t see is the incredible discounts on products. In the US 70% off in a Black Friday sale is mainstream. As the tradition becomes more widely adopted throughout the UK let’s hope that it remains somewhat civil – in the US Black Friday is marked with in-store stampedes!. Since 2006 fifty-six have been injured and four people have died in Black Friday related incidents.
It has been said that Black Friday may become extinct in future years to come as US retailers have started opening their door on Thanksgiving in an effort to beat their competitors. This is now called Grey Thursday and shoppers have been known to head to the store before their Turkey has even settled. Other events surrounding Black Friday is Cyber Monday which has been made popular by online retail giants such as Apple and Amazon. There is also Small Business Saturday for those smaller competitors and independent retailers.
With Friday fast approaching let’s all hope to nab some great Christmas bargains as this year is set to be the biggest Black Friday in the UK yet!