The Brits Have Gone Crazy for Black Friday

They have shopping frenzy, but no Thanksgiving
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2015 6:10 AM CST
The Brits Have Gone Crazy for Black Friday
Shoppers jostle for electrical goods at a store in London on Nov. 28, 2014.   (AP Photo/PA, David Parry)

There's a place with all the excesses of Black Friday but none of the Thanksgiving celebrations and it's not hell, it's Britain. The shopping tradition was introduced to the UK by Amazon and Walmart just a few years ago, and retailers are already trying to scale it down because of "ugly" behavior last year that caused police to be called to stores all around the country, reports the New York Times. Retail analysts say that despite the enthusiastic response, it doesn't make much sense to have Black Friday in Britain. "Without Thanksgiving, the event's focus point, the decision to concentrate so many resources and discounts on a Friday in November seems arbitrary at best and significantly disruptive at worst," a business development manager tells the BBC.

A backlash has already developed, with some commentators describing Black Friday as an unwelcome import, though not everybody is aware of its origin. "I don’t think most people realize it's an American custom,” a shopper at a Marks & Spencer store in London tells the Times. "I just assumed it was some marketing ploy by shops to get rid of lousy, unwanted items before Christmas." The country's Booksellers Association, meanwhile, says more than 100 members "aghast" at last year's chaos have signed up for a "Civilized Saturday" alternative, in which shoppers on Nov. 28 will be offered cake and cups of tea in a calm environment, reports Mashable. (More Black Friday stories.)

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