Black Friday: What you need to know as shopping frenzy arrives in UK

Your guide to Black Friday

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The Independent Online

1. It's America's biggest shopping day. Retailers offer discounts and open earlier to kick-off the festive shopping season. And the phenomenon has arrived on our shores.

2. Amazon is to blame since the online retailer was the first to put out Black Friday offers back in 2010. Asda, the supermarket owned by the American retailer Walmart, followed suit and the rest are playing catch-up.

3. More than one in three families will do their Christmas shopping on the day, according to research by Microsoft and Retail Week, making it the biggest shopping day so far this year.

The New West End Company, which represents businesses on London’s busiest shopping streets — Oxford Street, Regent Street and New Bond Street — expects hundreds of millions to be spent on the three streets alone.

4. Black Friday is also expected to become the busiest online shopping day of 2016.




5. It's not always fun and can get a little crazy- in 2013 a woman was rushed to hospital and a pregnant was pushed over in a stampede at an Asda store in Belfast.

6. Some people have even lost their lives. A website called Black Friday Death Count alleges that seven people have been killed in Black Friday incidents since 2006, while 90 have been injured.

7. It's unclear where the name comes from.

Some argue the name originated in Philadelphia, where police coined the term Black Friday in reference to the heavy traffic and increased pedestrian presence in the city the day after Thanksgiving.

An alternative explanation has a more monetary meaning. After the financial lull between January and November retailers experience a hike in custom in the lead-up to Christmas. As such they go from “in the red” to “in the black”.

8. Not everyone likes it. Activist groups have called on consumers to boycott retailers for opening early on Thanksgiving Day so employees can spend quality time with family and friends. Walmart, Kmart, Macy’s, Best Buy and Gap are all on the black list. But of course, retailers love it.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals