What is Black Friday

Black Friday is one of the biggest discount days of the year. It’s the time of year that shops often lower their prices as much as possible. Prices are often so low that shops will see people queuing outside waiting for the doors to open.

How did Black Friday start?

Black Friday began in America, it is held the day after Thanksgiving. Due to Thanksgiving being regarded as a national holiday often the Friday is too, as a result stores would hold big discount sales to encourage shoppers to spend before Christmas.

It was only recently that the UK started observing Black Friday and it was seen as the perfect way to grab your Christmas presents at great value.

It was in 1966 that the term Black Friday was coined. The Police Department used the name Black Friday to describe the colossal traffic jams and unbelievable grounds high streets would see.

Black Fridays History

Thanksgiving was made an official holiday in the 19th century. It was decided that Thanksgiving should fall in the last Thursday in November hence why it would be seen as the start of the Christmas season.

In 1924 popular department store Macy’s hosted a large Thanksgiving parade. The big Thursday Thanksgiving Day parade led to an increase in shoppers the following day.

In 1941 it was made law that Thanksgiving would be held on the fourth Thursday in November. The reason for this was there was much uproar when Thanksgiving and the pre Christmas sales were moved because retailers were struggling in the Great Depression. As such a set date was agreed to avoid any future arguments.

In 1950 Thanksgiving was becoming really popular, people would often travel to see family or host big Thanksgiving day meals and as a result many were calling in sick on the Friday to get an extra day off which allowed them to have a short four day holiday. Companies were struggling to know who was legitimately sick and who was putting it on and as such started just giving both Thanksgiving Thursday and Black Friday off as holiday.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Due to the increase and improvements in technology many shoppers started doing more shopping online than in store. Retailers saw this and set a different day for the online discounts which was known as Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday happened the first Monday after Black Friday.

Black Friday Facts and Rumours

The UK was introduced to Black Friday thanks to E-Commerce giant Amazon.

Black Friday originated in America.

The name did not derive from a day when slave owners would sell their slaves at a discounted price.

The most number of employees call in sick on Black Friday, suspicious?

The stereotypical Black Friday image is people fighting over TVs and other high priced electricals which see big discounts on Black Friday.

Tips for shopping on Black Friday

Look online and in-store to find the best deals. Traditionally Black Friday is a day that we think of long queues outside stores but you can find great deals online too.

Around the Black Friday Christmas period there are a lot of ways to save money. From special discount codes to big Black Friday sales. Shop around and see where you get the best deal.

Make sure you are following all your favourite brands on social media because quite often this will be the first place you hear about their Black Friday discounts.

Use Cashback sites to get the most out of your Black Friday shopping.

Set a Black Friday budget. It is very easy to get carried away with the idea of savings but make sure that you always stay within your limits.

As well as following retailers on social media, it is also wise to sign up to their newsletters as often they will send database exclusive discounts.

Black Friday Around the World

United States of America

Charlotte in North Carolina sees the most Black Friday traffic than any other USA state. In America Black Friday not only originated there but it is where Black Friday is the most popular. The combination of Thanksgiving the day before and the amount of employers who also give the Friday off contributes to an increase in shopping traffic.


Cross-border shopping is incredibly popular between Canadians and this is heightened thanks to the strong Canadian dollar and lower US Black Friday discounts. It wasn’t until 2009 that Canadian retailers started doing their own competitive sales to encourage Canadians to shop at home rather than in the US.

United Kingdom

Black Friday was introduced to the UK by American retailers such as Amazon. The term ‘Black Friday’ was met with some resistance in the UK with many retailers trying to push the term Big Friday but it soon caught on. Across Black Friday as more and more retailers adopt the concept of the big discount day the police are trying to educate retailers over the importance of hiring extra staff and security. Brawls and the excessive footfall mean injury and fights are common all of which are avoidable with the proper precautions in place.


Black Friday in Mexico was introduced to help retailers out and create a staple weekend of discounts. The weekend wasn’t called Black Friday but instead adopted the term ‘the good weekend’. El Buen fin or The Good Weekend was first introduced in 2011.


Black Friday in Romania is held the week before US Black Friday and has been met with open arms. Romanian retailers report really strong Black Friday sales year on year.


Shopping seasons in India follow their own patterns and as such Black Friday isn’t such a strong concept, instead the period of Diwali is their biggest discount shopping holiday period.


France was slow in adopting black Friday and it wasn’t until 2014 that retailers took part. In 2018 an alternative black Friday option was suggested, French Days was the term and it’s a discount week held in May instead.


Whilst Germany does hold a weekly discount week referred to as ‘Black Week’ the discounts offered aren’t as drastic as those seen in USA and UK. It wasn’t until 2016 that German retailers adopted Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


In China rather than Black Friday they see there biggest sales week as Singles’ Day which is the Alibaba promoted online shopping day. Alibaba has grown and grown year on year and is now regarded as the largest offline online shopping day across the world.

Buy Nothing Day

Buy Nothing Day is the same day as Black Friday and is held in protest against excessive consumerism and the impact it has on the environment. Activists will engage in a variety of activities:

  • Shopping mall sit-ins where activists will cut up credit card adverts and in some cases even their own credit cards

  • Protests

  • Engage in other activites that don’t affect the environment such as hikes. This is used to celebrate the earth rather than celebrate buying more.

  • Clothes Swaps- Activists will swap clothes rather than buying, promoting the reselling ethos. Often this day is also used to donate clothes to charity shops.

Discounted Radley Bags we Love

Wood Street- Medium Zip-Top Cross Body Bag

Why not choose sleek simplicity when it comes to picking your next Radley bag? This practical option will pair perfectly with any ensemble, formal or casual. Crafted from smooth grainy leather, this cross body silhouette offers a spacious interior that will keep everything organised. Finished with a stitched block design to the front and handy slip pocket to the back, this is the easiest purchase you’ll make this season!

Selby Street- Small Cross Body Bag

The perfect combination of style and function, this cross body clutch has been given a contemporary twist just in time for the festive season. Crafted from luxurious velvet, it will give you that Christmas feeling in an instant. It’s hands-free and fuss-free thanks to the detachable shoulder strap, which means you can focus on being the life of the party.

Abbotsford House- Large Open Top Shoulder Bag

A simple silhouette that boasts plenty of space, Abbotsford House is the perfect pick for weekdays and weekends. Choose this large open top shoulder bag for the office to fit in every essential you could possibly need including your laptop. The shoulder straps mean you can go hands-free when on the move.

Painters Mews- Medium Flapover Cross Body Bag

Prepare for the spring season with this chic style from our Painters Mews collection. Beautifully crafted from smooth leather, this cross body flapover bag offers a modern twist with its tassel charm and cut-in trim detailing. Featuring a clean shape, this handbag has a spacious interior and handy internal pockets where you’ll be able to keep essentials in check.

Oat Lane- Medium Zip-Top Backpack

Opt for a sporty silhouette from our Oat Lane collection. Crafted from luxurious grainy leather, this zip-top backpack is a new design for Radley that features a grab handle and lobster clasp to the front for functionality, plus a spacious compartment to keep all your essentials organised! In a range of neutral colours, you’ll be able to wear this style with all your favourite outfits.

Discounted Radley Purses we Love

Stay Magical- Large Bifold Matinee

Shoot for the stars and add a dose of magic to your everyday essentials with this purse. The classic silhouette is updated showing a Scottie, sat on a pink, metallic moon, scattered stars, cloud appliqués with the words ‘Stay magical.’ Beautifully crafted from smooth leather, it opens to plenty of slip and card compartments, so you can keep smiling for more reasons than one!

Heritage Dog- Medium Bifold Purse

Our classic Heritage Dog purse has had a subtle glitter update! Designed in a block colour, it has been given a festive twist with a glitter Scottie, which Radley fans will adore. Crafted from smooth leather, it has plenty of room to keep cash, cards and coins organised. It will make a sparkling gift for anyone on your gift list.

Pockets- Large Flapover Matinee

Inspired by our much loved Pocket Bag, this leather purse is the perfect handbag companion. Pockets everywhere you look, there is plenty of space inside to keep your money and cards organised throughout your day.

A Radley staple that you can’t say no to! Easy to wear whether you’re on your way to work or on casual shopping trips, you’ll be fully prepared with a classic design like this one to hand.

Signature Jacquard- Medium Tech Pouch

Prepare for the upcoming season with a fresh style from our Signature Jacquard collection. This zip-top tech pouch is designed in a lightweight fabric while featuring enough space for all your travel and work essentials. For added protection, it’s finished with anti-theft technology so your personal information can’t be swiped from you while on the move.