The Very Festive Black Friday

Christmas has already started for some – the Coca-Cola advert is out, the furniture adverts promising a delivery of a new sofa before the big day, supermarkets starting to devote aisles to festive gifts and the neighbours putting up the lights and decorations. (For my neighbour, Christmas definitely started on 1st November… too early I think!)

But for online retailers such as Amazon, John Lewis, Asda and the like, the big day is this week on Friday 28th November 2014. Knowing that most people are receiving their pay packets for the month the retailers offer ludicrous flash sales that will ultimately create chaotic scenes as shoppers rush to get the best deals. It is set to be the biggest shopping day ever in the UK. And just when you think it is over, it is followed by Cyber Monday when online shopping hits its peak, with an expected £281m expected to be spent online by the British public on that day. (Experian Data)

But where does the term Black Friday come from?

America is the answer. During the 1950s and 1960s the American police force gave the name Black Friday to the day after Thanksgiving when shoppers flocked to the high street to start their Christmas shopping. It became such a vital day for retailers, the US Government was forced to move Thanksgiving to an earlier date to allow more time for Christmas shopping. Ever since then it was destined to make it to the UK shores.

So if you’re a “Christmas-Eve-last-minute-panic” shopper or an “I-did-all-my-shopping-in-November” shopper, perhaps you are missing out on the best deals? Or perhaps you are sensibly avoiding the chaos?

From a business perspective, it is probably one of the most lucrative times of the year but from a personal perspective it is probably the time that the bank balance dwindles down most quickly.

Either way, it marks the beginning of the busiest period for all.

Merry Christmas! (too early?)

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