What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the biggest shopping bonanza to be held in the run up to Christmas when retailers offer huge discounts and deals to enable customers to kick start their Christmas shopping.

It occurs on the Friday following America’s “Thanksgiving day” which in 1939 was deemed by President Roosevelt to take place on the last Thursday of November.

Black Friday originated in America. In the 1950s and 1960s the Philadelphia Police Department nicknamed the day ‘Black Friday’ due to the heavy and chaotic traffic that occurred on the day after Thanksgiving.

Amazon were one of the first online companies to introduce Black Friday to Britain in 2010, and as everyone loves a bargain and retailers saw the benefit of higher sales before Christmas it didn’t take long for everyone to follow suit.

Asda, who are owned by the American Company Walmart, were the first major retailer to offer in-store Black Friday deals in 2013 and consequently sold 60% of their Black Friday stock within two hours!

Black Friday has taken over from the traditional Boxing Day and New Year’s Day sales in the UK, as companies realised that people were more willing to spend as they were looking for offers to buy as Christmas gifts.

While Black Friday originated in the United States, the concept has since spread to other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

Many people have criticised the concept of Black Friday, as it encourages excessive consumerism and in the USA a requirement for retail workers to work on a major holiday. In response, some retailers have started offering alternative shopping events, such as “Green Friday” and “Buy Nothing Day”.