Black Friday – Where Did That Come From?

Black-Friday-LineSo, you may well have seen in the news reports of people literally fighting in the aisles to pick up discounted TVs and other electronic goods.  Black Friday (which in case you’ve been asleep – is today) is an American traditional that seems to have hit the UK with a bang this year. The biggest discounts seem to be found on Televisions and Games Consoles.



What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is many things. In America, it’s the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, when retailers slash prices and open early to encourage a pre-Christmas buying spree. In Britain it used to be best known as that funny day when Americans got into fights over cheap toasters. That changed in 2010, when Amazon UK started offering deals on the day and other shops followed suit.

Why is it called Black Friday?

There are numerous urban legends surrounding the name. One theory goes that this is the day on which shops sell enough to become profitable for the year: getting out of the red and into the black. Another states that it’s tied into the financial crisis of 1869, when the US gold market collapsed, although this was actually a different ‘Black Friday’.

The real origin seems to be the Philadelphia police force, who were so fed up with the “irksome problem” of traffic jams caused by shoppers they christened the day “Black Friday”. Retailers always hated the name, wanting to swap it for the more positive ‘Big Friday’, but it stuck.

What is the difference between Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day?

Cyber Monday was invented as an online analogue of Black Friday. The Monday after Thanksgiving, online retailers slash their prices, much as traditional shops do on Black Friday. Boxing Day is when British shops traditionally start their new year’s sales. Yes, Christmas is now so commercialised it has spawned three separate shopping holidays.

Where are the best Black Friday deals?


Between 8am and 9pm, Amazon is launching a new deal every 10 minutes. Eventually there will be more than 3,000 offers but stocks are limited.


The supermarket’s deals aren’t online, meaning you will have to brave the crowds in store.

John Lewis

As well as their own discounts, John Lewis promises to match other shops’ Black Friday offers as part of their ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ motto.


Tesco is cutting prices by up to 70% on certain products, including electrical and toys.

Have there been any stories about panic in the aisles?

You bet there have! The BBC have reported various violent clashes throughout the UK click here to find out more.


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