Now a well-established fixture in the UK’s shopping calendar, Black Friday unofficially marks the start of the Christmas shopping season. It began as a post-Thanksgiving sale in the US and has been the biggest shopping day there since 2005.
In recent times, British brands and shoppers have been getting in on the act, using the massive discounts on offer to bag top-quality products and labels at famously knock-down prices.
With Christmas just weeks away, it’s also the perfect time to nab presents for friends and family at lower prices, helping your budget stretch that extra bit further.
Here’s everything you need to know about Black Friday before the sales begin this year.
When is Black Friday 2020?
The date moves every year as Black Friday takes place the day after Thanksgiving, which is always held on the fourth Thursday of November. Black Friday will officially take place on November 27 this year – although the deals and discounts will start much earlier than that.
When are the sales actually likely to start?
In recent years, retailers have been firing the starting gun earlier and earlier on Black Friday as they compete for the consumer’s pound. Last year 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.
What stores will be taking part?
Think of your favourite brands and shops: chances are they will be running some sort of promotion for Black Friday.
Big names include Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Agent Provocateur, Samsung, Disney Store, ghd and plenty more besides.
With social distancing high on everyone’s priorities, we’re sure many bargain-hunters will avoid busy stores and instead shop online during the super sale. That’s why we’re making things much easier by showcasing the best deals all in one place as they become available on ES Best. 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 all the biggest contacts and expert tip-offs – so there’s no better place to stay tuned into than ES Best. As well as tailored roundups to make it easier than ever to shop what you want quickly (think best offers on headphones, baby products, fashion, beauty, tech and so much more) we will also be running a Live Blog to get you in the best 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. 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 good news. With the new release of the 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 come about in Philadelphia, 1961 when the streets were choked with traffic the day after Thanksgiving. Big business in the US, it’s caught on in the UK 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 violently battling over discounts are some of the top stories of the day.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, Black Friday has become popular around the world, as US retailers with global markets compete with local retailers.
Last year, it was predicted British shoppers would spend £8.57bn during Black Friday, among the most in Europe.
Latest Black Friday updates: the sales to know
Black Friday is still a while off yet, but you can keep an eye on the best sales from your favourite brands below:
Amazon Prime Day
If you’re on the hunt for a bargain, you won’t necessarily have to wait until the end of November. Amazon has pushed back its Prime Day, which normally takes place in July, to sometime before the end of this year, with the rumour mill pointing to October. Find out more here.
Additional reporting by Emily Lawford.