Despite it still being summer, the countdown to Black Friday is officially underway and there’s no better time to save across tech, fashion, toys, home appliances, beauty and more. The biggest shopping event of the year sees all our favourite retailers slashing prices, from Amazon, Argos and Very to Currys PC World and John Lewis & Partners.
What began as a one-day in-store event in the US to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season has now travelled across the Atlantic, becoming a weekend-long bonanza that concludes on Cyber Monday. Amazon was the first to bring Black Friday to the UK in 2010, with other retailers soon following suit.
While Black Friday often seems to be dominated by impressive savings on big-ticket tech products – from Apple AirPods to TVs – the event also sees stellar discounts across fashion and jewellery. Last year, participating labels and retailers included Asos, Zalando, Veja, H&M, Missoma, Rixo and many more.
As such, we’re expecting big things from the 2021 sale and IndyBest will be on hand throughout to curate a selection of the best savings and deals across the weekend – from accessories and shoes to outerwear and underwear.
Whether you’re after a Christmas Day outfit, a present for a loved one, workwear for the return to the office or a new winter wardrobe, you’re in the right place to get a bargain. Here, we’ve detailed everything you need to know about the mammoth event, including what deals to expect and advice on how to navigate the sale.
What is Black Friday?
Originating in the US, Black Friday was traditionally a one-day in-store event taking place the day after Thanksgiving Day, with the sales marking the start of the Christmas shopping season.
Amazon first brought Black Friday to Britain in 2010, but it wasn’t until 2013 that the event gained momentum in the UK, when Asda introduced the first in-store sale, which had people flocking to their nearest branch to take advantage of the discounts. The huge success of Asda’s event led to many other retailers introducing both in-store and online deals.
Retailers have since kicked off the sale earlier and earlier. Notably, in 2020, both Amazon and Boots launched month-long Black Friday sales before the big weekend, and they are expected to do the same this year.
What’s the history of Black Friday?
Black Friday shopping dates back to 1952 in the US, when retailers in Philadelphia discounted products to mark the beginning of the festive season. Later uses of the term in the 1960s saw the police referring to “Black Friday” when describing the chaotic traffic congestion the day after Thanksgiving.
The event gained international attention in the Noughties when coverage captured US shoppers raiding the shelves for discounted TVs, toys and tech. Retail giant Amazon was the first to bring Black Friday to the UK in 2010, followed by Asda in 2013.
When is Black Friday 2021?
The 2021 event falls on 26 November, with deals dropping throughout the whole weekend. It concludes on 29 November, which is also known as Cyber Monday.
In 2020, the landscape of Black Friday changed, with shoppers instead encouraged to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic and shop the deals online. This meant most of the biggest discounts could be found via the web, and this is likely to be the same in 2021.
What is Cyber Monday?
The Monday following Black Friday has come to be known as Cyber Monday and it is the last day of the sales. It’s named as such because pre-Christmas online shopping normally peaks on this day.
Some retailers continue to slash prices throughout the Monday, so it’s the perfect opportunity to bag a bargain if you missed out on anything over the weekend. It’s also the last mass sale event until January.
What’s the best way to get a Black Friday 2021 deal?
Unlike last year, deals should be available in-store as well as online, so it’s worth keeping an eye on your local shops too.
Tips for Black Friday shopping online
The best way to ensure you’re prepared is to set up accounts with all the big-name retailers, from Amazon, John Lewis & Partners and Currys PC World to Very, Next and Argos. This makes shopping on the day easier and quicker. If you’re after next-day delivery, sign up for Amazon Prime or start a free 30-day trial.
You can also sign up for newsletters to receive all the latest updates from retailers, meaning you’ll be the first to know when the sales start and have access to any discount codes. It’s always good to download the apps of your favourite shops and follow them on socials, too.
As with any sales event, we’d suggest refining your shopping list beforehand, as well as always checking the RRP, so you know it’s a real deal.
We’d also recommend reading the retailer’s returns policy if you’ve not shopped there before. And if you’re buying online, ensure your anti-malware software is up to date. Read our review of the best solutions here.
If you’re buying large appliances or items of furniture, don’t forget to measure up your space, and the dimensions of the entrance and doorways, too.
Tips for shopping Black Friday 2021 fashion deals
Fashion is one of the most saturated areas during Black Friday, with a huge number of retailers and labels participating, from Asos, & Other Stories, Nike and Reformation to jewellery brands including Missoma, Monica Vinader and Astrid & Miyu.
To help you navigate the myriad deals, IndyBest will be handpicking the very best offers throughout the weekend to bring you curated guides. One of the best preparations you can do in the lead up to the event is to refine your shopping list to ensure you only snap up deals you actually want.
We’d also recommend signing up for accounts with your favourite brands so you can check out with items quicker during Black Friday and not miss out. With an account, you can also register for email notifications so you’re in the know about upcoming deals.
Most retailers also allow you to create wish lists of items so when the discounts drop, you can add them to your basket and check out even faster. Lastly, it’s always good to check the RRP prices of items, so you know if it’s a worthwhile discount or not.
What were the best Black Friday fashion deals last year?
Those looking to invest in high-end fashion at a fraction of the cost, refresh their transitional wardrobe or purchase a new statement piece of jewellery, were not let down by last year’s sale.
Over at Tessuti, there was an extra 10 per cent off sale items with a Black Friday code meaning you could snap up a Barbour international ariel quilted jacket (£165, Tessuti.co.uk) for £30 less. Also in the high-end bracket, there was a more than £100 saving on an Aspinal of London tote bag (£650, Harveynichols.com) at Harvey Nichols, which was offering up to 40 per cent off designer labels for men and women throughout the weekend.
In jewellery, Missoma hosted an expansive sale with 25 per cent off sitewide, meaning you could save £28 on a pair of Lucy Williams gold chunky entwine hoop earrings (£110, Missoma.com). Elsewhere, Pandora offered 20 per cent off its entire website, with the label’s reflexions mesh bracelet (£55, Pandora.net) reduced down to £44.
With Black Friday dropping during the colder months, we were pleased to see lots of deals on outerwear, including 30 per cent off this All Saints dalby leather biker jacket (£299, Allsaints.com). The sale also delivered if you were after a new pair of trainers. We’re big fans of the sustainable shoe brand Veja (read our buying guide here) and over at Net-a-Porter, you could save 30 per cent on the label’s metallic-trimmed leather and mesh sneakers (£77, Net-a-porter.com).
The best Cyber Monday fashion deals
The high street brands didn’t disappoint either, with H&M offering up to 50 per cent off selected items on Cyber Monday – an impressive jump from its 20 per cent off sale on Black Friday. Just one of the items that caught our eye was a modal-blend check midi dress (£17, Hm.com), which was reduced down to just £13.99.
Despite already offering 70 per cent off everything on Black Friday, Asos offered an extra 20 per cent off on Cyber Monday, with Grenson Nanette’s designer leather biker boots reduced by £30 (£232.50, Asos.com).
Farfetch, which is home to designer labels such Ganni, offered a whopping 92 per cent off the brand’s luxe silk leopard print dress (£400, Farfetch.com). We also saw more than half price savings at Net-a-Porter with this Galvin satin halterneck mini dress (£405, Net-a-Porter.com) reduced down to £337.50.
Where can I find the best Black Friday 2021 deals?
At IndyBest, we’ll be rounding up the best deals and discounts throughout the run-up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so make sure you bookmark this page so you’re always in the know.
For all the information on the best discounts across participating retailers, read our guide to the Black Friday sale, and what to expect from the 2021 sale weekend.
For the latest discounts on fashion, clothing and beauty, try the links below:
Read more on Black Friday 2021
How to get the best Black Friday deals this year – when the sale starts and how to prepare
Best Black Friday tech deals – whether it’s a new phone contract or noise-cancelling headphones, you’ll find the best offers here
Best Black Friday home appliances deals – now’s the time to upgrade your vacuum cleaner or coffee machine
Best Black Friday gaming deals – Xbox or Playstation? Here’s our expert guide to discounts on consoles, controllers and games
Best Black Friday beauty deals – stock up on your favourites across make-up, skincare, haircare and fragrance
Best Black Friday laptop deals – there are hundreds of pounds to be saved on laptops from big-name brands such as Apple, Microsoft and HP
Best Black Friday TV deals – update your at-home cinema experience without paying full price
Best Black Friday fashion deals – whether it’s a pair of boots or a coat, treat yourself to some wardrobe essentials
Best Black Friday kids’ toys deals – get your Christmas shopping done and dusted with offers from Disney, Lego, Playmobil and more
Best Black Friday sports deals – kit out your home gym or build your winter workout wardrobe
Best alcohol Black Friday deals – whether you’re a fan of gin, vodka, tequila, beer or wine, you’ll be able to bag a bargain
Best Black Friday Nintendo Switch deals – whether it’s the OLED, lite or original you’re after, level up with these discounts
Best Black Friday mattress deals – rest easy with big discounts on brands such as Emma, Eve Sleep and Simba
Best Black Friday Aldi deals – the budget supermarket is expected to slash prices on big-ticket items like the Nintendo Switch
Best Amazon Black Friday deals – our pick of the best bargains from the millions out there
Best Apple Black Friday deals – discover rare offers on the brand’s bestsellers, from AirPods to iPhones
Best Argos Black Friday deals – find discounts on everything from kids to homeware, fitness and DIY
Best Boots Black Friday deals – there’s no better time to save on beauty, skincare, electric toothbrushes and more
Best Currys PC World Black Friday deals – for everything from TVs and laptops to kettles and coffee machines
Best Black Friday Dyson deals – bag a bargain on the brand’s corded, cordless and handheld vacuum cleaners
Best John Lewis & Partners Black Friday deals – the high street stalwart will have great prices on fashion, beauty, tech, kids and homeware
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