Black Friday began 80 years ago in 1939, when Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the 4th Thursday of November in order to stretch out the holiday shopping season, for merchants to maximise retail in the run up to Christmas.
Today 15 Countries worldwide participate in Black Friday sales, and in 2001 Black Friday officially overtook the Saturday before Christmas as the busiest shopping day of the year.
The British Black Friday
Amazon brought Black Friday to the UK in 2010 and still dominates the event taking 26% of the entire retail – in 2018 UK Amazon customers saved £40 million on deals.
However it is anticipated that UK spending on Black Friday will drop this year, 20% less Brits intend to take part in the event. Last year 62% of Brits spent £1.49 billion on online retail sites on Black Friday and Retail Week reported 194 million visits made to UK shopping pages.
Not all stores participate, Ikea and Marks and Spencer choosing not to join in, and it’s been a bumpy journey for some retailers – in 2013 Asda, owned by American Retailer Walmart, held it’s first Black Friday sale, resulting in chaos, as customers physically fought over TVs and gadgets.
In 2018 21% of Brits regretted their Black Friday purchases, this together with many retailers now running offers throughout November, means the weekend event itself could be beginning to lose it’s appeal. Consumers are becoming wise to tactics and deals as it becomes harder and harder to track down a really good deal and many begin their online shopping as soon as the sales start.
Most will hold out for the most popular items, which are still tech – smart devices, TVs, games consoles, home goods – particularly large items such as furniture and appliances and beauty products.
We’ll leave you with a few surprising Black Friday facts –
1. In the US Black Friday is busiest day of the year for plumbers, as homes are pushed to the limits with all the extra guests using the facilities…
2. Men spend more than women.
3. $2 billion was spent on purchases using smartphones in 2018.
4. 12% of Black Friday shoppers are drunk whilst purchasing!