Black Friday gets underway early in the US, but even Britain isn't immune to the shopping bargain madness

The traditional shopping frenzy takes place the day after Thanksgiving in the US and marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season

It is known as Black Friday, and is the day the US, and increasingly the UK, goes mad for a bargain.

The traditional shopping frenzy takes place the day after Thanksgiving and marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, with an estimated 147 million people in the US expected to hit the shops.

The name of the day is thought to originate from the fact it marks retailers moving from the red into the black again.

The festival of spending is also usually marked by complete bedlam in stores across the US as shoppers battle to steal a bargain.

Early reports suggest there has already been fighting in some shops.

Experts expect online spending alone to rocket by 10 per cent, and even the UK is unlikely to be unaffected with Britons expected to spend around £200m online.

Last year Apple offered deals on its products cutting prices by up to 10 percent.

Retailers in the UK who have a price guarantee, such a John Lewis, will have to match the price drops.

Due to the fragility of the US economy this year the day is of special importance to retailers.

This was indicated by the fact many shops opened their sales on Thursday night.

When Macy's opened its doors in New York City at midnight, 11,000 shoppers showed up.

Target Corp. opened its doors at 9 p.m. three hours earlier than last year.

Sears, which didn't open on Thanksgiving last year, opened at 8 p.m.

Elizabeth Garcia, a sales rep from New York City, went shopping at about 3:30 a.m. at a nearby Toys R Us in Times Square.

Garcia, who has three children ages three, five and seven, said she specifically decided on the late time to avoid the crowds on Thanksgiving when the store opened at 8 p.m.

She believes that was the best decision: Last year, Garcia almost got into a fight over a Tinker Bell couch, but this year things were much calmer.

"This year I wasn't about to kill people," she said.

Are shoppers abandoning their children in the dash for a bargain?

A thread on the website Reddit has been set up discussing how some shoppers appear to be leaving their children unattended in car parks as they hunt for a bargain.

One post on the site said: "Work at a police station, already got a call like this last night. Woman parked her van in a handicapped spot and went to the store. Her very young children were so confused and upset they began asking passers by for help."

Another appeared to show a picture of children abandoned outside a store. And yet another user posted: "More Black Friday child neglect: Around 1AM my boss was walking through the parking lot to our store in the mall and witnessed a child no older than 2 years "hanging out of a car".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing