What is Black Friday?
Confused about Black Friday? Here's our guide to the US phenomenon which is taking hold in the UK
When is Black Friday?
Black Friday takes place on the day after Thanksgiving, which is the fourth Thursday in November. It is not a national holiday in the US, but some states such as California observe what is known as "The Day After Thanksgiving" as a holiday for state government employees.
What companies offer deals? In the US, pretty much every single retailer will offer discounts. Think Boxing Day or New Years sales here in the UK. Discounts are typically very limited however, with those willing to queue up overnight rewarded with the biggest discounts.
Retailers are always pushing the boundaries of their Black Friday sales and in 2010 ToysRUs even went as far as opening at 10pm on Thanksgiving Day itself offering free Crayola crayons and colouring books to shoppers.
What deals are available in the UK?
As we said, Black Friday is still not a major event in UK retailing circles, but two big online retailers - Apple and Amazon - are looking to get in on the act by offering comparable deals online to those in the USA
Apple is bringing its one-day shopping event to UK consumers through its online store and its retail stores in the UK. It has yet to reveal what discounts it will be offering but going on past years we are likely to see the price of its iPad Air and iPad mini reduced by somewhere in the region of 10% Apple will also likely discount its MacBooks, iMacs, iPods and other accessories like mice and its Time Capsule hard drives, but it is unlikely to reduce the price of its iPhones
Black Friday is a term first coined back in 1869 associated with a major financial crisis. The crisis was caused by just two people, Jay Gould and James Firk, who tried to corner the gold market on the New York gold Exchange.
The terms Black Friday and Black Saturday were then used by police in the US to describe the two days after Thanksgiving because of the huge traffic jams caused by people out shopping.
The term was also used by retailers to mark the time when they would move out of the red and into the black, as it indicated the time of year when they would finally become profitable.