According to the BBC News, Black Friday (Nov. 28) was the busiest day ever for online retailer Amazon UK, with sales that surpassed all expectations, according to the company.
The BBC reported Nov. 29 that there were chaotic scenes in shops around the United Kingdom (UK) as people rushed to grab a bargain.
Black Friday, an American invention first coined by the Philadelphia Police Department in the 1950s, was given the moniker for the day after Thanksgiving due to the chaos that overcame the city as shoppers flocked to pre-Christmas high street sales, while thousands of fans traveled to an American football game.
According to a Shropshire Star report, no one in the UK had heard of Black Friday until 2010, when the clever marketing gurus at Amazon decided to treat customers to 300 cut-price deals in a bid to increase its share of the UK market. Walmart-owned Asda swiftly jumped on board with a raft of in-store offers.
Last year Amazon received 4 million orders on Black Friday and a further 4.1 million on Cyber Monday with both figures expected to be eclipsed this year, according to Amazon UK.
Nicholas Pitt, center director at Wolverhampton’s Mander Centre, described the day as an America gimmick that is yet to take off in the city. “In the last few years there has been a big build up nationally but the reality is we haven’t seen an increase in trade on Black Friday,” he said. “I don’t think it is something the people of Wolverhampton embrace.” But in Shropshire, it is a different matter. Shops in Shrewsbury’s busy Darwin and Pride Hill Shopping Centres are gearing up for what they say will be the biggest shopping season of the year so far.