The world does not need a retailer urging shoppers to spend more – but demand to save money – in January.
Why? Because until February, shoppers in the UK would have just one choice of retailers to buy their Christmas presents.
But after decades of closing retail stores, the rise of the internet, but also the birth of Black Friday, there has never been a closer moment for the idea that people would go to a warehouse with a bunch of special discounts attached to them.
The crucial thing to know about Black Friday is that it is not an actual day. Instead, it’s a big corporate wheeze to make sure stores don’t shut down for the holidays while they are free to sell high-end goods.
Some big companies have signed up to the scheme. Huge chains such as Gap, H&M and Best Buy all moved their Black Friday sales to this year.
The message is clear: when you go to a shop this weekend, you won’t know you have a date for Black Friday.
And the key moment for it was the first week of January this year. Previously, retailers had started to feel the effects of Christmas over the festive season, pulling shops out of hibernation in February.
Many shoppers were looking for discounts in February last year. After about six months, the seasonal disruption became unavoidable.
So, Black Friday was created.
A bunch of websites made available deals of tempting prices.
Some are aimed at shoppers new to the internet. Others are aimed at old hands like the Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph.
And millions of people got a boost because they could save more by shopping this weekend than they would on a traditional day.
It hasn’t changed the industry, however. Stores did not suddenly start running their Christmas deals online last week.
By the end of December, retailers are already discounting their stock to tempt shoppers and build a healthy cash pile.
Even if Black Friday ends up affecting stores in the long run, retailers cannot help this. Black Friday means huge revenues.
Right now, consumers are struggling to get a good deal on all of the internet shopping that we consume.
Even if it reduces profits for some retail chain, Black Friday does feed the entire industry in some way.
So, whether retailers like it or not, Black Friday has taken place. Now the question is: what else can Black Friday do for consumers this year?