The Biggest Day Of shopping – Black Friday

By | November 26, 2015

Black Friday is set to become the biggest day of shopping in Britain, with as much as £2bn spent in shops and online in the space of 24 hours.
However, five years ago, the shopping event didn’t even exist in the UK. Black Friday is a US shopping tradition exported across the Atlantic by Amazon and Asda.
Black Friday takes place in the US the day after Thanksgiving. It involves retailers cutting the price of their goods to encourage households to get back into shops after the US public holiday and it kickstarts the Christmas shopping period.
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The origins of the name Black Friday is contentious. Some claim it relates to the fact it is the day when retailers turn a profit for the year and move into the black, while others claim it relates to the markdowns on shop prices.
However, most agree that retailers ultimately have the Philadelphia police department to thank for Black Friday. The force nicknamed the day after the chaos that engulfed Philadelphia when shoppers flocked to the high street sales just as spectators travelled to the annual Army vs Navy American football match. They are thought to have started using the name in the 1950s and 1960s, judging by local newspaper reports, and the mantle slowly crept nationwide.
Shopping has always been key to the Thanksgiving season. The holiday used to be celebrated on the last day of November, but retailers lobbied President Roosevelt to move the day forward so there was more time for Christmas shopping. Eventually, in 1941, it was confirmed that Thanksgiving would always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, rather than the last.
Until 2010, the closest UK shoppers got to Black Friday was TV news coverage of the queues at shops across the US.
Amazon started offering Black Friday deals in the UK about five years ago. Then, crucially, in 2013, Asda, which is owned by Walmart, the biggest retailer in the US, started offering deals in its supermarkets, encouraging other retailers to join in.
Last year, Black Friday became the biggest UK shopping day of the year for the first time, with chaotic scenes across the country. Amazon generated 5.5m orders, ahead of its previous record of 4m orders made in a single day.
This year, Amazon is offering 7,000 deals on Black Friday, more than double last year. Visa Europe has predicted Black Friday spending will rise 17% online on compared with 2014 , and 4% in stores. This would result in a record £1.91bn being spent in total.