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Everything you need to know about Black Friday

Everything you need to know about Black Friday

What is Black Friday?

The Black Friday concept started in the US, and traditionally represents the day after Thanksgiving. Now an increasingly familiar term in the UK, Black Friday has become synonymous with ‘grabbing yourself a bargain’ as it marks the start of a mega sales period (which continues until ‘cyber Monday’).  Black Friday was initiated by the retail industry as a way to kick start Christmas shopping (as if we need an excuse).

If we go back to the origins, the term “Black Friday” was first used during the financial crisis in 1869. One century later, the Philadelphia police used the term “Black Friday” to describe the crowds of pedestrians and multiple traffic jams which caused congestion on a Friday outside the department stores.

Initially, the retailers were reluctant  to adopt the expression, but they eventually changed their minds when they saw the impact on profits.  Traditionally a slow period for the sale of clothes and technology, this “event” soon saw retailers witness their turnover go from red to black.  They couldn’t complain about that.

When is Black Friday?

This year Black Friday falls on Friday 27th November in the UK.

During this period, retailers will do everything they can to help facilitate sales. They will increase staffing numbers to cope with the demand, use tablets so staff can take orders and payments on the shop floor, and some even open pre-sales on their websites…. which can start as early as Monday 23rd November.

Their main goal is to create a sense of urgency from the shopping public, so you may often seen half empty shelves in the run up to Black Friday.  This helps create the illusion of scarcity, and the panic “what if I can get one!”… which, of course, quickly turns into desperate frenzy as the items go on sale on Black Friday.

Which retailers take part in Black Friday?

  • Amazon UK: starting in 2010, this online retailer was the first to bring Black Friday to the UK. This year they will start offering deals from 23rd until 29th November. Check out their Black Friday deal page and note down the item you want, as well as the time the deal start, to be sure you can snap up the bargain.
  • Apple: they might offer a range of discount on products sold in their UK stores
  • Asda: though no official announcement on its Black Friday deals yet, most likely they will be offering sales in their stores.
  • Argos: this retailer advises customers to sign up online to be updated on their Black Friday deals.
  • John Lewis: they have promised to match the prices of all competitors.
  • Mark & Spencer: only on their second year but promised for some “jaw dropping sales” this year.
  • Tesco: they went big on Black Friday last year and promise to be even bigger this year.

What to do with all your Black Friday purchases?

Looking back to the US where this tradition started, savvy American shoppers are snapping up all kinds of bargains during the Black Friday sale so they can stock themselves up with presents for future occasions.  Many are using their self-storage units as a space away from home (and the prying eyes of the gift recipient!) to keep hold of all their discount deals.

So, get yourself organized by working out what presents you might need for friends and family (and yourself!) in the future.  Make a list, and then research the best offers in advance.  And when the sales start.  Get buying! The bargains will get snapped up quickly.  And once you’ve completed your winning haul, you can use a storage unit to keep all your purchases safe and dry so they don’t need to take over your house.   Then, throughout the year, when you need a present for birthday, anniversary etc – you can conveniently go “shopping” in your storage unit! Simple!

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