What the hell is Black Friday anyway?

29 November 2013

Once upon a time in the UK, we didn’t know what a Black Friday was. Maybe it was something to do with the weather? The crumbling economy? Satanism? But as is the way with so many American things – Big Macs, drive thrus, the tendency to say ‘OMG’ and ‘REALLY?’ at every tiny little thing – Britain has succumbed, and now we do it too, like it’s never been any other way.


In the US, Black Friday refers to the day after Thanksgiving, when everything is heavily discounted. It marks the beginning of the festive season, a kind of doors open day to encourage people to throw cheap widescreen TVs into their shopping basket for Christmas. It’s a hideous free for all, and can lead to punch ups over Breville toastie makers and three mile long queues to get a cheap blender. It is consumer madness writ large.

Now the UK is following suit, and stores like John Lewis, Apple, Amazon and Asda are offering up to 70% off. Asda, which is obviously owned by Walmart, will go Black Friday cray cray, offering ‘unbeatable’ deals on LG 42 inch plasma screen TVs, which are expected to sell out almost straight away.

So are we going to queue up for hours to get things on the cheap? Brawl over discounted electrical goods and poke each other in the eye in the struggle to get a bargain?

Well, it looks like we’re all for it. Mark Lewis from John Lewis (no relation, we presume) said: 'Black Friday has really caught the imagination of our customers. Last year we felt they really engaged with it and so we would go a step further.'

Christopher North from Amazon added: ‘Since we started Black Friday deals in the UK, the concept has really caught on and is now a much anticipated event in the UK shopping calendar. This year we'll be releasing twice as many deals to make it easy for customers to save money on this year's must have gifts.’

At John Lewis, there’s already been online early bird deals, and with Apple having to contend with their ‘never knowingly undersold’ policy, you should be able to get a great deal.

So what are you waiting for? Get in there, elbows blazing, and grab yourself a bargain. Fight to the death in the street. Kill your gran for plasma telly! After all, that’s what the festive season is all about, isn't it?


  • jim
    Thing is in the States it's some crazy deals (80% off on entire ranges) which is why people go mad for it. Over here we get "up to" sales where one overpriced pencil is reduced to a penny, it's hardly the same thing. It's called black Friday because it's the day where retailers typically start to make profit once all their costs for the entire year are calculated.
  • Les D.
    definitely not much in the way of deals this year. only slightly better than the usual "double the price before taking 25% off" bullshit we normally see. of course, these deals will shitter year on year like everything else in this country - like shrinking mars bars and smash mash with 2 less portions in it than last week. bastards.
  • Dick
    It's called Black Friday as today is the day that if you black-up with shoe polish or marmite and go into any store and put on a fake Nigerian accent and ask for a discount, then they have to give you 50% off their regular price. It's the law.

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