Black Friday

Black Friday


This year (2019) Black Friday lands on 29th November – the Friday following Thanksgiving in the USA. Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday in November, so this year 28 November 2019. Cyber Monday is the following Monday so the 2nd December 2019. Also, note Singles Day is 11th November 2019 which happens to be a Monday this year.

Black Friday originated in the USA since the early 2000’s it has been considered the start of the Christmas shopping period. Black Friday follows Thanksgiving in the USA which falls on the fourth Thursday in November. Thanksgiving is a major holiday, family celebration and bank holiday for families to get together and enjoy traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. 

On Black Friday most shops open early and more recently open silly hours during the night with people camping outside in a queue. It is not an official holiday but many employees (except in retail) have the day off, in the USA. In fact, the following Monday is known as Cyber Monday and is also not a public holiday more a follow-up shopping day to the sales of Black Friday. But as everyone is usually too exhausted to venture into shops, they buy online hence the name Cyber Monday.

2013 saw the launch of Black Friday in the UK but it didn’t really get off to a great start with a mad rush of abusive shoppers rushing to get discounted goods, presumably knowing the store did not have enough supply to meet the demand. Amazon and Walmart (Asda) were the first to bring Black Friday to the UK, but in 2015, Asda decided to drop it and concentrate on reducing prices year round.

It’s a good idea to have sales before Christmas it is always so annoying to buy all your Christmas gifts to find they are reduced in price on Boxing Day (celebrated the day after Christmas in the UK). This is much fairer on the consumer and even better now you have more choices to buy online. Many retailers are now choosing specific sales for specific dates and not all taking part with Black Friday.

The run-up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday usually sees a surge in the UK with shops battling to grab the shoppers attention first. Lots of early discounts pre-Black Friday sales. Headlines such as ‘Black Friday queue jump’, ‘Beat the Black Friday Rush’ and ‘Fear of Missing Out This Weekend’ from brands and shops who made a head start. Amazon also starts promoting specials all week. Other brands may update specials by the day. Also, many online companies ask you to register interest (cheeky way to grab your valuable email address) and get the updates once their sales begin. 

It does get confusing should you hold out or buy early. Because you never really know what is going to be on sale on the day and you are less likely to know whether you will be lucky enough to get that bargain you’re hoping for. Best advice shop around if it is something particular that you are after, if you find it goes on sale early then it is probably worth grabbing, after all, it may sell out. If you see something you were not really planning on buying then you can afford to hold out and have a think about it because you shouldn’t be too disappointed, if it does sell out. Save your money for something you were planning on buying regardless.

Cyber Monday is/was the busiest online shopping day, although that might be disputed. As we now have Singles Day 11/11 which became the busiest shopping day on the global calendar 11 November 2016. But as we don’t fully recognise or celebrate that one in the UK at the moment! No doubt it will keep growing in popularity here too.  

Singles Day is said to have originated by male friends in University who celebrated the fact they were single, instead of worrying about it. It is often referred to as Batchelor’s Day. They used the date 11/11 because of all the single digits thus representing being single. After leaving university they decided to keep up with the celebration and it caught on from there with E-commerce giant Alibaba turning it into a shopping marathon in 2009. Other retailers have jumped on-board but Alibaba made one of the other known by names ‘Double 11’ a copyright term. They particularly liked the date being easy to remember and plus it falls between National Day and Chinese New Year.

We now have to look out for Blag Friday dishonest people target shoppers on the busiest retail period of the year. Be wary of emails confirming delivery, you need to look out for Phishing emails which you do not want to open. If in doubt before you click any links within a delivery confirmation email, always check the sender’s email address, you can see if it is from the retailer or the delivery service in question. Even hovering over the sender it should clarify. When in doubt, go directly to the store in questions website. log into your account and check your order status that way. You can always google the name of the sender, sometimes it may come up in search as a scam if enough people have reported earlier. So we think that is also a good place to start.

Every Thanksgiving I always think of time spent in the USA and this ridiculously funny old film starring Steve Martin and John Candy – Trains, Planes and Automobiles, a film worthy of watching if you haven’t seen it it has a 15 rating for language. Our Amazon link to the DVD if you want to check it out here.

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