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The History of Black Friday

Journal_Banner_v2 (2)The somewhat ominously named "Black Friday" is a truly twenty-first century phenomenon which has made its way from the USA to UK shores in recent years and looks set to be bigger than ever in 2014. And, it's only a few days away...

Falling on the Friday after Thanksgiving (a US-only holiday which occurs on the fourth Thursday of November), Black Friday has come to represent the start of the Christmas shopping season in the US and is the biggest shopping day of the year, with record sales figures amongst retailers throughout the fifty states.

Slowly but surely, Black Friday has made the transition across the Atlantic and arrived in the UK, reaching such frenzied heights that this year, Black Friday sales figures are predicted to surpass all previous years.

Black Friday can be traced back to the 1960s, although the origins of the phrase itself remain unclear. Two theories abound; the first, that the phrase was coined in Philadelphia (and remained a colloquialism for many years), in reference to the disruptive footfall and vehicle traffic the city experienced on the Friday after thanksgiving, when out-of-towners descended for the annual Army versus Navy football game,  and high street sales began. The second suggests that the "black" in Black Friday refers to businesses and retailers moving "out of the red" and "into the black" financially, following the roaring trade of the day. So important was Black Friday to retailers in Philadelphia and beyond, that they began to push the US government to move Thanksgiving Day to earlier in the month, allowing more time for Christmas shopping.

ID-100131107 (1)In any event, Black Friday has snowballed over the decades to become the holy grail of shopping days for retailers in the US, and now in the UK. In 2013 alone, "bricks and mortar" stores in the US took an estimated $12.3 billion -with a further $1.964 billion taken by online stores- over Thanksgiving and Black Friday; figures up 2.3% and 18.5% on 2012 respectively.

Stores, both online and on the high street, have reacted to the huge consumer demand by slashing prices and offering massive savings, exclusively for Black Friday. It was Amazon who acted as trailblazers of Black Friday in the UK; they began running promotions on the site specifically for Black Friday, back in 2010. Since then, the country's major online and offline retailers have followed suit.

This year, Black Friday falls on Friday 28th November, and sales are predicted to be bigger than ever. In fact, VISA Europe anticipates that the number of online transactions on Black Friday 2014 will have increased by more than a fifth compared to Black Friday 2013, and that British shoppers will spend £1 million every three minutes; the equivalent of £6,000 per second!

With staggering sales figures a distinct possibility, retailers are happy to participate in the the Black Friday madness; and some of the UK's biggest retailers are gearing up to offer their best discounts of the year, for one day only.

Here at Country Attire we're delighted to offer our customers an array of savings in the run-up to Black Friday, starting with 30% off the Country Attire, CO/AT and British Duffle collections of coats and jackets. This seasonal saving makes it easy to keep out the cold this winter, whether you wrap up in a traditional tweed, weather the storm in wax jacket or stay snug in a classic duffle coat; the choice is yours. Plus, we'll be changing our deals on a daily basis to offer something for everyone ahead of the festive season!. Let the countdown commence!