It’s the buzzword of the last few weeks… Black Friday. It’s been a top trend across Facebook and Twitter and now news outlets have joined in. It’s a guaranteed story.
Despite the amount of attention this day is getting, stores are divided with most jumping on this US holiday as an excuse to have a sale before Christmas. Most of the big stores are offering some form of discount today but not all; some are exercising restraint, explaining their products don’t need this kind of attention.
It has caused chaos today, with many retailers unable to cope with the sheer demand for goods; websites are crashing as people log on and there are reports of fights and mob mentality as shoppers strip stores of bargains. The popularity of Black Friday in the UK was underestimated and many retailers are ill-prepared to cope with just how much consumers want their goods.
Preparation for the big days is the absolute key for success. Social media conversations have helped push Black Friday into the mainstream, meaning the uptake isn’t just for those in the know. Everyone knows.
Black Friday originally started in the US as a way for stores to make money before Christmas, hence the terminology: Black Friday. Quite simply, this day was created to put businesses back in the black. They picked the Friday that follows Thanksgiving Day as this is the day originally considered to be the first day of Christmas shopping. It also combines a national holiday in many states so perfect timing for retailers to reach out to people who might not normally have the time to go shopping.
Nearly all retailers in the States offer some sort of sale or discount on this day with competition becoming fiercer in recent years. It’s normal for some shops to open at midnight to shoppers so they can get their bargains early.
Black Friday was introduced to the UK in 2010 by American retailers including Amazon, and has certainly picked up over the past four years as interest in the concept and what it can offer both retailers and consumers grows. 2014 has seen the idea go mainstream, pushed by a combination of social media conversations, articles about Black Friday and retailers publicising this idea.
It may have taken a few years for the UK to get to grips with Black Friday but we are a nation of bargain lovers and this day will no doubt become part of Christmas tradition for years to come.