So, Halloween has ghosted away, Bonfire Night went by with a BANG, and the time to don your antler headbands and turkey hats is here. Christmas is coming. But, those keen eyed amongst us will have noticed that it no longer comes alone. Two words: Black Friday.
Now, depending on who you are, those words will either fill you with delight or dread. Some will automatically think of the bargains (oh, the bargains!), others will think of the carnage. Hell hath no fury like a group of shoppers with eyes set on the last 50% off LED TV in stock, determination strong as they clamber over one-another, pulling hair, throwing children to the ground, and declaring that, no matter what, it will be theirs.
We all know the story, and whether you partake in the chaos or not, Black Friday is here to stay. So, in an attempt to learn a little more about this bargain-bonanza, we’ve dug up some fun facts about Black Friday and how it came to be…
Where did it get its name?
There are a couple of explanations behind the name “Black Friday”. Some accounts claim it originated in Philadelphia in the 1960’s, when police began to use the term to describe the congested streets during the holiday season. Other explanations refer to stores’ records moving from red to black ink – back when records were written by hand – with red signifying a loss in sales, and black a profit.
Who brought it to the UK?
Over the past few years, Black Friday made its way over the pond and into British stores. With Amazon leading the way and introducing offers in 2010, other retailers took note, and discounts began to appear in stores like ASDA, John Lewis and Currys & PC World. For most people, a deal before Christmas was unheard of, so sales in-store and online sky-rocketed. Now, you will struggle to find a shop that doesn’t partake in the Black Friday extravaganza.
Black Friday’s friend, Cyber Monday.
That’s right, Black Friday brings a plus one. Cyber Monday originated when a study noticed that 77% of online retailers experienced a considerable increase in sales following Thanksgiving in America. The reason for this is unclear, but it is suggested that, while suffering from a post-celebration blues, people were looking for something to ease the pain of knowing that they would be heading back to work the next day. Retailers, seeing they could use this to their advantage, introduced the day of online offers, and saw profits soar once again.
Black Friday Week
For some stores, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are simply not enough. Over the past few years, a number of retailers realised that they could capitalize on the Black Friday madness, and offer deals throughout the week. Others take it a step further, like the popular online electrical store, AO, who has been running offers since the beginning of November. Amazon, also, have extended the offer, with early Black Friday deals throughout November, followed by a full launch on 16th, a week in advance.
How much is spent, and on what?
In 2017, Black Friday pulled in an astounding £1.39billion, exceeding stores’ expectations and beating 2016’s sales, which came to £1.23billion. A report by PWC showed that 50% of money spent last year was on electricals and technology, with stocking fillers and treats coming in second. Also, it was revealed that, while Christmas gifting is on everyone’s mind, 72% of men and 55% of women were buying for themselves and not others.
How to survive Black Friday.
It depends on how you approach the day, and whether you’re one to camp outside your favourite shop all night, simply saunter into the store and wing it, or shop from the safety of your own home. While wooly socks and lots of coffee will be in need for those brave souls that camp, everyone will need a clear plan of action. Make sure you’ve got your shopping list, your comfy shoes and your “that TV is mine” look, and remember to keep a cool head. Know what you’re shopping for, ignore the temptation to buy everything, and find those bargains!