Every third Friday of November we celebrate Black Friday, which this year falls on November 27th. The date was not chosen at random, as it is the day after Thanksgiving. That’s the day to find great deals in many shops, and draws in large crowds. The goal of these discounts is to boost sales at what would otherwise be a rather slow period for businesses.
There are several explanations for the term Black Friday: the first refers to the bottlenecks that form in the streets, making them “black with people”. The second explanation has to do with accounting, as the balance of business accounts goes from red to black (from negative to positive).
The Black Friday phenomenon originated in the United States, but in recent years it has crossed borders and landed in Europe.
A quick comparison reveals that European countries have reacted differently to this new trend. Spain and England, both of which have adopted the Black Friday event contrast sharply with France, where this phenomenon though present, is a lot more subdued, as it takes longer for it to be absorbed into the country’s customs.
Where to Find the Best Offers?
Obviously, we all want to benefit from the best possible deals. But how? Searching online? In stores?
- Online: when it comes to online shopping, we’ll have to wait until the following Monday, November 30th to enjoy Black Friday deals; although some sites will start offering discounts as early as Friday November 27th. It is what’s known as Cyber Monday: the online equivalent to Black Friday. It can be even more advantageous than shopping in stores when it comes to prices, and everything gets sent straight home, without having to lug it around!
- In stores: more and more stores participate in this event every year. Most of them are large retailers that can afford to offer very attractive deals, and especially so in technological appliances and electronics.
Here are some useful links for guidance in both physical stores and online:
- Write a list. This will prevent you from rushing into compulsive buying, buying things that are too large, too small, or even products you don’t need.
- Sign up for email alerts, check on apps, and even social media pages to be well informed about the best deals.
- Find out the list of participating retailers beforehand, and check their online shops, which saves you having to go to the store and facing the crowds.
- Don’t despair. Black Friday is not the only day of the year to find great deals. The winter sales are coming shortly after.
- Although it is not the case in France, this phenomenon keeps growing every year in countries like the US or Spain, so if you are visiting those countries, wear comfy clothing so you can shop comfortably.
- And most importantly: Keep CALM!