It may have started in the US, but Black Friday and its sister sales day Cyber Monday are now well-established fixtures in the UK’s shopping calendar.
The weekender has become known as the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season. It began as a post-Thanksgiving sale across the Atlantic and has been the biggest shopping day there since 2005.
These days, British shoppers have become accustomed to epic low prices, with retailers more than happy to oblige with massive discounts on offer. Black Friday weekend is the time to bag top-quality products and labels at famously knock-down prices.
With Christmas just a few weeks away, it’s also the perfect time to check off your shopping list, nabbing presents for friends and family at lower prices and helping your budget stretch that little bit further.
Here’s everything you need to know about Black Friday before the sales kick off this year.
When is Black Friday 2020?
The date shifts every year. Black Friday takes place the day after Thanksgiving, which is always marked on the fourth Thursday of November. This year, Black Friday will take place on November 27 – although the deals and discounts have begun much earlier than that.
When are the sales actually likely to start?
Every year, retailers have competed against each other by firing the starting gun earlier and earlier as they vy for the consumer’s pound. In 2019, we saw deals as early as two weeks before the actual day, from the likes of Boots, John Lewis, Amazon, Very and Lovehoney.
It's not unusual to see sales begin as early as a month ahead of the actual day.
Which stores will be taking part?
Think of your favourite brands and shops: chances are they will be running some kind of Black Friday deal - especially this year as the pandemic takes its toll on their bottom line.
Big names include Amazon, Selfridges, Currys, Harvey Nichols, Lovehoney, Samsung, AO, Disney, ghd, Panasonic and plenty more besides.
With Lockdown 2.0 underway, the only way to scoop these deals is online. As your go-to destination for all things Shopping, ES Best will be the place to go to find the best deals in one spot.
Bookmark our homepage and check back daily for news of the latest sales.
How to find the best deals
As seasoned shopping writers, we have the insider contacts and expert tip-offs – there’s no better place to stay tuned into the Black Friday super sales than ES Best.
As well as tailored roundups to make it easier than ever to shop what you want quickly (think best offers on kitchen appliances, baby products, fashion, beauty, tech, mattresses and so much more) we will also be running a Live Blog to get you in pole position to nab lightning deals and flash sales.
Which products are likely to have the best offers?
Nintendo Switch deals did exceptionally well last year, and shoppers snapped up tech products over Black Friday, the weekend and Cyber Monday.
Clothing giant ASOS marked down fashion and accessories by a tremendous 70 per cent, while LEGO usually discounts its building sets by 30 per cent per cent. In its 2019 sale, jeweller Ernest Jones offers shoppers £200 off on spends of £1,000 or more.
If you’re looking for a new phone, there’s welcome news. With the release of the new iPhone 12, prices on its predecessor iPhone 11 are expected to plunge, which means you can bag a great phone at a fraction of its RRP.
History of Black Friday
The term ‘Black Friday’ is thought to have originated in Philadelphia, 1961 when the streets were choked with traffic fumes the day after Thanksgiving. Big business in the US, it’s been adopted on our shores and beyond because – well, who doesn’t love a bargain?
It can get quite competitive, and in some cases, even fatal. Since 2006, there have been 12 reported Black Friday-related deaths and 117 injuries in the US. Here in the UK, tales of customers battling over discounts are some of the top read articles of the day. Yet another great reason to do all your shopping online.
Since the beginning of this century, the Black Friday phenomenon has become popular all around the world, as retailers with outposts in foreign markets compete with local retailers.
Last year, it was predicted British shoppers would spend £8.57bn during Black Friday, among the most in Europe. This year, all signs point to customers spending even more.
What is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday follows Black Friday, and tends to mark the culmination of the sales event. While Black Friday is often the start with new, big-ticket items slashed to epic new-low prices, Cyber Monday may offer even bigger reductions - providing the stock is still available.
Waiting for the price of a product to fall from Black Friday to Cyber Monday is a white-knuckle gamble reserved only for those with nerves of steel.
The term Cyber Monday or Blue Monday harks back to 2005 and is a push by retailers for e-commerce on the first Monday after Thanksgiving.
Latest Black Friday updates: the sales to know
Black Friday is coming but it’s not quite here yet. Keep watch on the best sales from your favourite brands below:
Additional reporting by Emily Lawford.