Opinion - Black Friday

Black Friday

Tomorrow is Black Friday! But what actually is it? Susan Omand explains and has some suggestions for bargains to be had...

Black Friday, as with most things involving money these days, originated in the United States. It is traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving and tends to mark the start of the Christmas shopping season. Because so many people in the US get Thanksgiving weekend as a holiday, even though only the Thursday is an official day off, the Friday has routinely seen an increase in the number of shoppers hitting the streets looking for promotional bargains at the start of the holiday season.

So why “Black” Friday? There are two explanations being touted – the first, in the 1960’s, was that the increase in heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic turned the roads and pavements black but an alternative, and one that I tend to believe more having been in retail in a small way is that retailers , particularly independent ones, generally operate at a loss (“in the red”) throughout the year and the Christmas rush is the time that they start to turn a profit.

In recent years, Black Friday has been joined by Cyber Monday. This is the Monday AFTER Thanksgiving weekend, when all the folk who were too busy partying with family finally settle down in front of their computers to get the holiday shopping started with the big online retailers.

Black Friday is becoming a “thing” all over the world now, especially with the big e-tailers, although some UK shops, like ASDA, whose parent company Walmart were instrumental in bringing the event to these shores, have decided against it this year as, shall we say, fisticuffs (i.e. all out riot) ensued following their TV deals last year and the police have now advised that all shops hosting Black Friday events will be responsible for the cost of policing them.

So, with all this talk of shopping and festivities and deals, what would we recommend for your wish-list to Santa?

There have been Black Friday deals all week on Amazon - here's a few DVD bargains we have talked about in the past that will be available on deal for a limited time TODAY.

Ghost in the Shell - get the original animated film to see what you'll miss when the remake comes out. Yes, I still have issues with the fact they're remaking it at all.

Deal starts 08:40 GMT unless you're a Prime member in which case it's half an hour earlier. 
Clint Eastwood Box Set - Steve Taylor-Bryant's second favourite director's films all gathered together. What's not to enjoy?

Deal starts 10:40 GMT unless you're a Prime member in which case it's half an hour earlier. 
Doctor Who Series 9, Part 1 - One way to get your Doctor Who box sets up to date without shelling out full price for what may be not the best series ever. Although I think it's really quite cheeky to put Series 9 out as a two parter, I guess they've been doing that pretty much all series. 

Deal starts 10:40 GMT unless you're a Prime member in which case it's half an hour earlier. 
Firefly - the Complete Series. But I really don't need to add this deal in do I? Because we all own it already after Steve's article, don't we? DON'T WE??

Deal starts 12:40 GMT unless you're a Prime member in which case it's half an hour earlier. 
Dollhouse. Because, if you're anything like Steve, you'll have worn out your original copy long ago.

Deal starts 15:40 GMT unless you're a Prime member in which case it's half an hour earlier. 
Stanley Kubrick 10 disc box set. Another of Steve's Top 5 Directors, the set includes: 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut and the documentary A Life in Pictures. Can't really ask for better, can you?

Deal starts 15:40 GMT unless you're a Prime member in which case it's half an hour earlier. 

There are plenty more online deals, both on Amazon and elsewhere, even before Friday even starts so it's a great chance to start your festive shopping and take advantage of the bargains without getting battered and bruised in the process.

Images - Amazon

Find more Amazon Deals below (yes I know - we're shameless)