BLACK Friday is one of the biggest shopping events in the UK calendar, with thousands of shoppers bagging bargains from a wide range of retailers.
Thousands of items, ranging from electrical goods to clothes and bags, have their prices slashed ahead of the festive season.
Just because a product is in a Black Friday sale, doesn't mean you can find it, or something similar, cheaper elsewhere. Always shop around before you spend your money.
- Shop the latest Amazon deals here
- Shop the latest Argos deals here
- Shop the latest John Lewis deals here
It started off in America and has now become one of the biggest shopping events of the year around the world.
It takes place a few weeks before Christmas, meaning it's a key time for people to go shopping for presents.
But when does Black Friday fall this year, what is the annual day's history and how can you find the best sales and deals?
Here's everything you need to know.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is an informal name given to a day each year when retailers offer a range of highly-promoted sales.
It is one of the busiest days in the retail calendar and typically marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping period.
The shopping event originally began in the US, but in recent years has become an annual fixture in the UK and across the globe for retailers and shoppers.
When is Black Friday 2021?
Black Friday falls on the Friday after the annual US Thanksgiving holiday, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
This year Black Friday will take place on Friday November 26.
And this year we predict competition for deals will be fiercer than ever before.
When is Cyber Monday?
Black Friday is usually followed by a weekend of more discounting, which comes to an end at midnight on Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday falls on November 29 this year.
When do Black Friday 2021 sales start?
Some stores in the US open as early as midnight, but in the UK retailers will generally open early from 6am.
If you are shopping online deals will be available from midnight, allowing bargain-hunters to pick up the best deals as early as possible.
However, a growing number of retailers will launch some offers ahead of the official sale date.
Last year, major UK retailers such as Amazon and Boots rolled out early deals from the beginning of November following the UK lockdown.
When do Black Friday 2021 sales end?
The Black Friday sale deals usually continue through to the weekend (while stocks last), with some retailers even launching new offers during that time.
Most brands wrap up their sales at midnight on Cyber Monday, bringing to a close the huge sale period before the festive season kicks in.
Where can you shop during Black Friday?
Several of shoppers' favourite stores are are set to take part in this year's event, so we've rounded up what you may expect from some of the most popular retailers below.
- Aldi – The discount supermarket is known for not only its food and drinks, but also its special buys range that includes DIY tools, homeware products and toys. Read our Aldi Black Friday guide here.
- Amazon – An online retail giant, Amazon sells anything and everything you could possibly need from electronics to furniture. Previous Black Friday sales have seen the prices of toys and electrical goods slashed. Read our Amazon Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- Ann Summers – Ann Summers is the place to head to if you want to pick up sexy lingerie or sex toys. Read our Ann Summers Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- Argos – Argos sells everything you could possibly want for your home. Read our Argos Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- ASOS – The online fashion site caters for all your fashion and beauty needs, selling ASOS own-brand ranges alongside popular high street and premium brands. Read our ASOS Black Friday guide here.
- AO – Online retailer AO is ideal for picking up tech, gaming and electrical appliance items. Read our AO Black Friday guide here.
- Boots – Popular high street chain Boots is a great place to find top beauty and personal health items. Read our Boots Black Friday guide here.
- The Body Shop – Time to pamper yourself with goodies from this high street favourite. Read our The Body Shop Black Friday guide here.
- B&Q – home and garden bargains can be found at the DIY store and last year there was even a discount on inflatable hot tubs. Read our B&Q Black Friday guide here.
- Currys – Electronics giant Currys takes part in Black Friday every year and is bound to slashed thousands of prices. Read our Currys Black Friday guide here.
- Cult Beauty – The Beauty Brand carries high end brands, such as make up brand Charlotte Tilbury, to low-cost skincare companies, like The Ordinary. Read our Cult Beauty guide here.
- Debenhams – Pick up everything from clothing and accessories to homewares from the popular department store. Read our Debenhams Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- Dune – Home to boots, sandals, heels and shoes, Dune has dozens of different types of kicks. Read our Dune Black Friday guide here.
- eBay – Online auction website eBay is bound to have thousands of deals on offer, so make sure you check them out too. Read our eBay Black Friday guide here.
- The Entertainer – One for the kids for sure, The Entertainer is jam-packed with top toys for little ones of all ages. Read our The Entertainer Black Friday guide here.
- Ernest Jones – Those who want to get something special for their partner, the jeweller is bound to have some great deals to make their loved one's eyes sparkle with delight. Read our Ernest Jones Black Friday guide here.
- Farfetch – The luxury online fashion retailer sells designer products from over 700 boutiques and brands from around the world. Read our Farfetch Black Friday guide here.
- The Fragrance Shop – Want to find your scent? You can use Black Friday to give a new brand a whirl. Read our The Fragrance Shop Black Friday guide here.
- Game – Gamers are bound to log on to Game's website during the discount day to see what deals they can get on new consoles and the latest action-packed game. Read our GAME Black Friday guide here.
- Halfords – With bikes a big hit in 2020 this store is a good place to keep an eye out for deals. Read our Halfords Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- House of Fraser – There's likely to be savings across departments including fashion, beauty, electricals and furnishings. Read our House of Fraser Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- JD Sports – Sportswear fans can pick up everything from gym gear and football kits to trainers and accessories. Read our JD Sports Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- John Lewis – This high street favourite usually has discounts across departments. Read our John Lewis Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- Lidl – It's cheap already but on Black Friday things get even cheaper at the German discount supermarket. Read our Lidl Black Friday guide here.
- Littlewoods – This shop is a great place to pick up top brands on sale. Read our Littlewoods Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- Marks & Spencer – M&S usually offer deals across a range of categories including fashion, beauty, home and furniture. Read our M&S Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- Matalan – The retailer usually offers discounts across its women's, men's and children's fashion as well a kitchen and homeware. Read our Matalan Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- Morrisons – The supermarket often has big Black Friday discounts. Read our Morrisons Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- Selfridges – The posh department store is where to keep an eye out for designer bargains. Read our Selfridges Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- Smyths – Popular toys from Fisher-Price to Nintendo could be cheap on Black Friday. Read our Smyths Black Friday 2021 Black Friday guide here.
- Superdrug – Bag a beauty bargain at this high street retailer along with cupboard essentials. Read our Superdrug Black Friday 2021 guide here.
- Very – Deals here on top brands across all categories including tech and fashion are common on Black Friday – and very appealing. Read our Very Black Friday 2021 guide here.
How long does Black Friday last and how do you get the best deals?
Strictly speaking, Black Friday is just one day.
But since the trend took off there are many shops that extend their Black Friday sales for a few days either side and with some, it's even weeks.
That means Black Friday often starts earlier and that you'll start spotting deals ahead of this year's Black Friday on November 26.
The Monday after Black Friday is called Cyber Monday and that's when lots of online deals launched, whereas Black Friday was originally focused on in store promotions.
These days, you'll find deals available online and in store throughout the extended Black Friday period.
You can bag a deal by doing your homework beforehand and checking out the prices of items you're eyeing up ahead of time, that way you know you are actually getting a bargain.
And make sure you know exactly what you want and what your budget is – it's very easy to get sidetracked and end up buying things you don't need or spending more than you intended.
You can get all the latest on the best Black Friday deals here too – we'll be updating them when the sales launch and finding the biggest bargains for you.
The Best Black Friday Deals
Take a look at some of the other Black Friday deals we’ve found around the web
- 101 Black Friday deals
Where did Black Friday come from?
Thanksgiving is a federal holiday in the United States that originated as a harvest festival and has been celebrated on and off since 1789.
Many non-retail employees and schools have Thanksgiving and the following Friday off, creating a four-day weekend and increasing the number of potential shoppers.
The weekend traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday season ahead of Christmas and New Year.
The Friday after Thanksgiving came to be associated with shopping in the 1950s, though didn't gain the name Black Friday until later.
The tradition has spread elsewhere in recent decades, and is now marked in the UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, and a growing list of other countries.
Why is it called Black Friday?
The day was given its name as it is often the day that shops "move into the black", meaning they have enough money to cover their costs while reducing prices.
You can read more about the origins of Black Friday and the meaning behind the name in our guide.
Find out what’s the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and which day is best to get deals and discounts?
Here's where to find the best Nintendo Switch Black Friday deals.
You might also like our roundup of the best air fryer Black Friday deals.
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