Black Friday is back, for better or worse, which means it’s time for the retail industry to once again whip up a ‘thanksgiving frenzy’; despite the fact that most of us tea-sipping Brits don’t celebrate the holiday at all.
Because while we might not care much about an American holiday (and don’t even get the time off) we love a good sale; and there are plenty of them around.
UK shoppers are expected to save more than £230 million over the course of the long weekend, from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. Ironically, they’ll spend an awful lot more in order to save it. According to the Centre for Retail Research, Brits are expected to part with more than £1.3 billion. That’s an increase of 9% on last year. The majority will be spent as the weekend draws to a close.
Bob Geldof might not like Mondays, but retailers certainly do. Because on this side of the Atlantic, we tend to spend more on Cyber Monday (the first Monday of December) than we do on Black Friday. We spend even more a week later on so-called Manic Monday.
These are the key peaks for pre-Christmas online shopping. According to Experian, we’ll spend almost £650 million on Cyber Monday and a whopping £676 million on Manic Monday. Both represent a 26% increase on 2013.
But the big news as far as we’re concerned, is that the UK will participate in a much younger tradition for the first time: the charity based Giving Tuesday.
It was born a few years ago in the states as a reaction to retail mania and it’s philosophy is simple, encouraging people to set aside a little of their Christmas spend to give to a good cause. This year Giving Tuesday officially arrives on our shores and a number of UK stores and charities are promoting it.
So before you obliterate your bank balance this holiday weekend, spare a thought for those less fortunate than yourselves and set aside a little to do something kind this Giving Tuesday. It’ll do more for the soul than picking up a pair of better than half price denims.