Black Friday is coming!

Black Friday

Black Friday – The famous day where crazy sales and offers are available from a lot of retailers, both online and instore. The videos of people, desperate to get the best offers, perhaps on a limited number of available goods. Black Friday is now a global phenomenon and does not look like going away.

So, we would like to know three things about Black Friday. Where did it come from? What is happening now? Where is it going? Let Fireplace Factory fill you in.

Where did it come from?

Believe it or not, Black Friday started in the USA. Consumerism gone mad, where else would it have started?!

Black Friday is the nickname for the Friday after Thanksgiving. Lots of stores offer huge discounts on selected goods, and the popularly accepted story now is that this is typically the day when stores make the transition from red to black. That is, this is the point in the year when the stores become profitable. So the huge sales start the period in the run up to Christmas, the typical annual peak time for sales and revenue for most consumer retailers.

There are two prior references, the first from the 1950’s in Philadelphia. This Black Friday was the same Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. It was also because of the big peak in sales on this day, but the nickname was started by the Philadelphia police force. They called it Black Friday because they had to work extra shifts, to cover the increase in crowds in the city centre.

The earliest reference though still comes from the USA. In 1869, although in September and not November, two investor drove up the price of gold. This led to a market crash, with huge losses in agriculture and foreign trade being suspended.  This was basically a pre-cursor to the more famous Black Tuesday in 1929 and Black Monday (the worst ever crash on Wall Street) in 1987.

Happily though, the story about retailers moving into the black is the accepted story today.

Interestingly, in the UK we originally used the term ‘Black Friday’ to describe the Friday before Christmas Day – the term originated within the police and NHS as it would be their busiest day of the year, typically. In the modern vernacular, this day is now more commonly referred to as ‘Mad Friday’.

So where are we now?

Well, we are now in the midst of Black Friday being the biggest shopping period in the UK – with the exception of the Boxing Day sales. In 2015, Black Friday was the UK’s first £1bn shopping day. This record has been broken since, with Black Friday 2020 seeing very nearly £6bn worth of transaction happening – this is the combined number of online and instore purchases.

This distinction is important, with the figures from last year showing that just 15% of shoppers were instore only, 40% were a mix of instore and online and a whopping 45% of sales were strictly online.

So we are clearly in the era of online shopping, although we have been for the last 4 or 5 years. The majority of a lot of retailers’ sales are online orders.

This is reflected in the Monday after Black Friday being designated ‘Cyber Monday’. This Monday is traditionally a day when retailers put huge savings on their online only goods. It has not gained the same traction as Black Friday, and is often nullified by retailers extending Black Friday over the weekend.

Where is Black Friday headed?

Black Friday has grown over time, although this growth is slowing. Obviously, the sales cannot grow at the same rate forever, but will they continue to rise?

One major source speculates that Black Friday 2021 will see lower sales levels than 2020. With the total revenue expected to fall from £5.9bn to £4.8bn. This is a big drop, but it is driven by the fact that a smaller number of retailers will be operating a specific Black Friday promotion. However, if we remember that the first ever £1bn revenue day was in 2015, and six years later the figure will be almost five times as much, the drop in revenue does not seem such a big downturn.

While not wanting to give too much away, I think it would make sense to keep your eyes peeled on the Fireplace Factory website for Black Friday this year, which is on the 26th of November!!

As always, if you have any questions about any of our products or services, please get in touch with the team who are waiting to help you.

Fireplace Factory – unashamedly bring you the highest quality luxury electric fireplaces. Unmatched marble suites, using the finest materials and hand crafted by our in-house team. World class products, to complete your dream homes.

We look forward to hearing from you.