Black Friday Invades the UK

Black Friday Invades the UK

The craziness of the Black Friday in the United States has finally spread to the United Kingdom, like a plague of consumerism. The sales-packed day is no less crazy for the British — and their media coverage does not fail to capture the craziness.


The Guardian, for example, opened an article on Black Friday with the following lines: “Who’d have thought that we’d see a time when shopping would destroy a sense of patriotism? I’m talking about Black Friday, the retail discount extravaganza, imported from America, estimated to be worth more [than] £500m in UK online sales alone.”


The writer’s choice of words alone — “destroy,” “patriotism,” “extravaganza” — draw attention to the absurdity and gravity of the day. Human nature and goodness is questioned as consumers line up for hours, and then fight, push, and stampede for discounts.


This chaotic scene in Wembley is just a taste of the Black Friday madness in this year's Black Friday. (

Chaotic scenes like the scene in Wembley pictured above were commonplace in this year’s Black Friday for the U.K. (

Amazon made the first step into the U.K. Black Friday market by extending their online offers overseas. However, physical shops soon followed the trend and began offering great bargains the day after Thanksgiving, which isn’t even observed in the U.K.


A Time article referred to Black’s Friday’s growing popularity in the U.K. as “a veritable American invasion.” Indeed, this year saw a doubling in promotions from retailers. 65 percent of retailers in the U.K. planned special Black Friday deals.


It’s not likely that Black Friday will spread beyond the U.K. and further into the E.U. Given recent trends, though, it will be sure to expand in the U.K. in years to come.


Do you think a case could be made in which Black Friday’s spread is viewed as a positive thing? Share your thoughts below, or on Twitter @ryanlawlessness

Ryan Lawless

Ryan Lawless is an undergraduate student at Fordham University. He studies English and Spanish as majors, and philosophy as a minor. He won the Margaret Lamb Writing to the Right-Hand Margin award for creative fictional writing, and has been published in Fordham's literary magazine The Ampersand, and its newspaper, The Observer. Ryan grew up in New York, but is also an Irish citizen. He enjoys fiddles, coffee, and music.

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