With autumn well under way, we’re officially beginning the countdown to the biggest shopping event of the year – Black Friday. The best time to save on everything from tech to fashion, toys, home appliances and more, the mammoth sale will see all of our favourite retailers slashing their prices, from Amazon and Argos to Aldi and Currys.
Originally a one-day in-store event in the US to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, Black Friday has now travelled across the Atlantic, becoming a weekend-long bonanza that concludes on Cyber Monday. Amazon was the first retailer to bring the sale to British shores in 2010, with other shops soon jumping on the bandwagon.
While Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to upgrade your smartphone, TV or laptop, beyond tech the event also sees stellar discounts across sportswear and fitness equipment. Last year, participating retailers included Nike, JD, Adidas, Sports Direct, Gymshark, Footlocker and more.
This year is set to be the biggest Black Friday yet, and IndyBest will be on hand throughout to curate a selection of the best savings and deals across the weekend – from trainers and running gear to gym equipment and fitness trackers.
Whether you’re just getting into cycling, training for a marathon, looking to kit out your home gym or want to build your winter workout wardrobe, you’re in the right place to bag a bargain. Consider us your personal shoppers – we’ve detailed everything you need to know about the shopping 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 originally a one-day in-store event taking place the day after Thanksgiving Day and 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 event, which had people flocking to their nearest branch to take advantage of the discounts. Its huge success led to many other retailers introducing both in-store and online deals.
Read more: Black Friday clothing and fashion deals 2021
Retailers have since begun kicking 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, 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 – Amazon, John Lewis & Partners, Currys, Very, Next and Argos – and the sportswear brands you’re interested in, from Nike and JD Sports to Adidas, Decathlon, Footlocker, Sports Direct, Lululemon and Gymshark. This makes shopping on the day easier and quicker.
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. 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.
Read more: Black Friday home and kitchen deals 2021
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 items of gym equipment, home appliances or items of furniture, don’t forget to measure up your space, and the dimensions of the entrance and doorways, too.
What were the best Black Friday sports deals last year?
Those looking to invest in high-end sportswear and high-tech equipment were not let down by last year’s sale.
Over at JD Sports, there were savings of up to 50 per cent on brands including Nike, Adidas, Puma, Under Armour and Fila. At Footlocker, meanwhile, you could save £40 on a pair of Nike tuned women’s trainers (£89.99, Footlocker.co.uk) or £25 on Nike’s air max 270 trainers (£135, Jdsports.co.uk).
Popular sportswear label Gymshark did not disappoint either, with savings of up to 50 per cent on selected lines. Highlights included a 20 per cent discount on the brand’s flex leggings (£35, Gymshark.com) and 50 per cent off its energy+ seamless loose vest (£30, Gymshark.com).
Amazon also delivered the goods with 20 per cent off Bluefin indoor gym equipment (£308.99, Amazon.co.uk), 60 per cent off Omeril resistance bands and a whopping £70 off the Fitbit versa 2 (£149.99, Amazon.co.uk).
What were the best Cyber Monday sports deals last year?
Cyber Monday 2020 was shoppers’ final chance to update their activewear collection in the sales, and Lululemon was a standout. You could save 27 per cent on the label’s bestselling align pants (£88, Lululemon.co.uk) or pick up the align cycling shorts (£48, Lululemon.co.uk) for less than £30.
If you’re looking to stock up on protein powders, Black Friday’s the best time of the year to do so. Last year, there was a huge 80 per cent off everything from Bulk Powders. Meanwhile, Nike was offering 25 per cent of everything with the code “SHINE2020”, meaning the react infinity run flyknit 2 running trainers were just £108.70. Earning a spot in our round-up of the best women’s running trainers, our reviewer said it was a “very comfortable, lightweight trainer that gives a highly cushioned, responsive and smooth ride”.
We also saw one of our favourite massage gun brands slashing its prices – the Theragun elite (£375, Therabody.com) was reduced to £300. Our reviewer praised its “five speeds, a long-lasting battery, excellent attachments and a quiet motor, all of which add up to make it a luxury pick”.
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 be sure to 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 sportswear, clothing and more, 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 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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