Have you ever heard of Black Friday? Northern Ireland has recently adopted this shopping tradition from the USA and like our friends across the pond the Northern Irish enjoy a shopping frenzy as retailers drop their prices to record lows.
Originally Black Friday began as a Thanksgiving custom and was a day when shops would slash their prices to ridiculous lows, practically giving stuff away. It seems that Northern Ireland has embraced the concept with open arms as more retailers join the fun each year. It is estimated that British shoppers will spend a whopping 6000 pounds a second on Black Friday this year.
Discounts on Back Friday are nothing to turn your nose up at. Here are some examples of savings to be had:
- S&R: Toshiba 55” Smart 3D LED TV – Was: 1199.99 pounds Now: 599.99 pounds SAVE: 600 pounds
- Adsa: Coleman 400 4×4 Quad Bike – Was: 6500 pounds Now: 3500 pounds SAVE: 3000 pounds
- Amazon: AKG K452 High-Performance On-Ear Headphones with In-Line Microphone – Was 79.99 pounds Now: 24.99 pounds SAVE: 55 pounds
These prices are almost surreal and so it comes as no surprise when reports of stampedes and shoppers being trampled hit the headlines. Last year a number of retail outlets in Northern Ireland found chaos erupting right there on the shop floor. A woman was even rushed to hospital with a broken arm because of a breakout of violence over cut price televisions. Evidently people had been queuing outside an Adsa store in west Belfast since the early hours of the morning waiting to get inside to purchase televisions that were going at prices that were too good to be true. However when the doors opened and the reality that there was limited stock available sank in and the crowd realised that not everybody was going to get a TV people, naturally, began to get somewhat irate.
To that end retailers are taking extra precautions this year and bringing in extra staff to man the floor as well as security staff that are trained in crowd management. With these kinds of cuts in prices people will jump over each other to get to the till in time.
Estimates in Christmas spending predict that 74 billion pounds will be spent during the six weeks preceding Christmas. Experts also say that almost one in four purchases will be online.
Visa Europe has it’s own predictions. The credit card conglomerate estimates some 360000 pounds will be spent on Black Friday, following their prophecy of 6000 pounds a second. Shoppers will be wearing their plastic cards thin as they swipe their way through a day of mega savings and a way to avoid overspending on the holiday season. Black Friday for some is what saves them from a Dickinsonian Christmas to one with lots of merriment and good cheer. With the kind of savings that are made available on this particular Friday, the average Joe who would have normally ended up with a couple of short term, quick loans over the holiday season may be able to spare himself the interest if he is on the ball.