As we reach the end of November, it’s time to start thinking about Black Friday; an event which has taken the UK by storm in recent years. Shops and retailers both on the high street and online offer big sales and unique deals on this day, which always falls the day after the US holiday of thanksgiving.
On Black Friday, shoppers queue up outside stores long before they open to be sure to get the best deals, and many online retailers will only offer their deals between certain times. For this reason, it’s important to plan ahead if you’re aiming to take advantage of the Black Friday deals.
History of Black Friday
This retailer participation has grown significantly since the 1930s, when the day was first recognised as the start of festive shopping. There’s been a huge surge in scope and awareness since around 2005, when it became possible and easy for people to shop online and participate further afield. In 2014 (the most recent stats available), an incredible $50.9 billion was spent on Black Friday in the US by 233 million shoppers!
Black Friday is now much more well-known and extremely popular in the UK – read on for the best UK Black Friday 2016 deals, and what to do if you miss out.
When is Black Friday 2016?
Black Friday 2016 falls on November 25th, which is slightly earlier than last year. If you’re planning to make some purchases this year, check what day you are due to get paid. Many employees on a monthly payment schedule will be paid just after Black Friday, rather than beforehand, so it’s important to make allowances for this.
Best Black Friday Deals
This year, the best Black Friday deals are likely to be found online, with big players such as Amazon and Argos doing multiple-day sales. In previous years, retailers have had problems with the sheer amount of people who visit on Black Friday, so physical deals within stores have declined in favour of online. In 2015, Asda opted out of Black Friday due to concerns about crowd control and violence.
However, store-based clothes sales, laptop deals and TV deals can still be worth your while, but only if you plan ahead. Do your research to make sure you cannot get the same deal online and that it is indeed the best price you can find during Black Friday. Arrive early and target smaller, participating out of town stores to avoid larger crowds.
Here’s what we know so far about the various Black Friday deals available in the UK 2016:
The undisputed internet champion of Black Friday has to be Amazon, with a huge amount of products on sale with some amazing discounts. This year, one of the best has to be a £333 Bosch vacuum cleaner on sale for £172.
Amazon’s deals have already begun, with new deals appearing each day. It’s worth checking back to see what goes on sale throughout the week, although the best deals are likely to be found on the day itself. If you have Amazon Prime, you will get a 30 minute window to get deals before others can, so if there’s something you really want it’s best to plan ahead.
Another retailer doing a multiple-day sale is Argos, with deals available both online and in-store over 13 days, starting on 18th November and continuing through to Cyber Monday (more on this below) on the 28th. Large discounts are expected on toys, electronics, technology and appliances. There’s no way of knowing what will go on sale when, so as with Amazon it’s best to keep checking back if there’s something in particular you’ve got your eye on.
Last year, Argos implemented a queuing system on their website due to high demand, and they may do so again this year. If you manage to get a place in the online queue, keep an eye on your internet connection and be patient.
Currys PC World
Also offering deals both online and in stores is Currys PC World. They’ve announced that Black Friday 2016 will be their ‘biggest ever’ year for deals and will starting the sales on Sunday 20th November. They haven’t released any specific information yet, so it’s another one to keep an eye on as they roll it out.
Our favourite Scandinavian furniture store has just one deal on for Black Friday, although it’s available a little earlier from Wednesday 23rd November. If you buy a £25 Christmas tree from Ikea from that date, you’ll receive a £20 voucher to spend in store in January and February. This is when they’re more likely to have sales on other items, so if you know you want to buy some furniture in the New Year, this may well be worth the trip.
Unfortunately, there is no delivery service for Ikea Christmas trees, so if you live too far from a store it’s unlikely to be worth it once you factor in travel costs.
Popular toy shop Smyths is planning a 50% off event for Black Friday, which have already begun to appear on their website. Their sales will be available both in-store and online, so if you’ve got your eye on something specific for your kids, it may be worth planning ahead and working out which is best for you.
Here at H&T, offering 20% off pre-owned items in store and online with code BLACKFRIDAYSPECAIL for Black Friday until cyber Monday, plus we also have a 15% off deal on all diamonds. If you’ve got something in mind, come down to your local branch to see what great savings can be made.
Black Friday Predictions
Of course, most high street stores will be participating in Black Friday, but we’re unlikely to know much about what they’re offering until the day itself. Here are some deals which were available in 2015 – we are likely to see similar offers this year:
- 20% off at ASOS
- 30% - 50% off at Marks & Spencer
- 50% off at House of Fraser
- £76 worth of products for £30 in The Body Shop Black Friday bundle
Apple are not expected to take part, but you may find Apple products on sale from other retailers as part of their Black Friday deals. Similarly Asda may also not participate, although smaller deals on food and drink are expected to be found in-store.
If you missed out on the Black Friday deals, there’s always Cyber Monday. This is the term given for the Monday after Thanksgiving, which is just 3 days after Black Friday. Cyber Monday was initially created to encourage internet shopping in that same way that Black Friday encouraged shopping in stores. Of course, these have now blended into one. These days, Cyber Monday tends to have more deals on electronics, appliances and technology, although deals on other items can be just as good as Black Friday offerings.
Keep an eye on what’s available by using sites like MoneySavingExpert and Hot UK Deals, who will post the best finds up in one place.