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We all have that one relative that bemoans the introduction of American traditions into British life. And autumn is really the time to get them frothing at the mouth with righteous annoyance. You have Halloween on the 31st October, where the relative will tell you that we didn’t ever trick or treat in this country until recently (not true), and then Black Friday on the day after Americans gather together for Thanksgiving, where shops across the world slash prices to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

Whether you like it or not, Black Friday is now firmly cemented in Britain’s calendar and there are plenty of opportunities to find some bargains for your loved ones’ stockings or, of course, to treat yourself. So forget that killjoy family member, let’s embrace Black Friday and work out how to make the most of it this year!

Plan a Black Friday Shopping Trip

There haven’t been many opportunities to get together and get away recently, so why not tie in a bit of Black Friday bargain hunting with a city break to a destination known for its retail supremacy? For example, going Black Friday shopping in London would be a fun jaunt. Get the train down from the north, book into a fancy hotel, take in a West End show and hit the shops of Oxford Street and Bond Street.

If you fancy seeing a different side of the capital, there are plenty of other destinations away from the centre in which to spend your hard earned cash. Try Brick Lane, Broadway Market in Hackney, Camden Passage in Islington and Church Street in Stoke Newington too.

You could also opt for other city destinations in this country, such as Birmingham or Bristol, and even head overseas. A Black Friday shopping trip to Paris sounds like an idyllic way to begin your Christmas shopping.

Head Online

Of course, with the pandemic still hanging over us, you might not fancy shopping in person this year. Well, there is no need to worry. Once, Black Friday and Cyber Monday (the traditional online shopping extravaganza) were separate events. Nowadays, online retailers are ready with their big offers before the weekend has begun.

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You will also receive a barrage of mailings from your favourite online stores in the run up to the big day, letting you know what will be on offer. This means you can effectively ‘browse’ before Black Friday comes around, being ready to pounce straight away and not missing out on that item that you definitely need in your life.

Check Your Loyalty Programmes

If you have signed up to a shop’s loyalty programme in the past, now is the time to check in with them to see what they have on offer. Retailers often create special Black Friday deals for their subscribers and members, offering discounts, vouchers and a lot more to entice you back to spend with them.

They might email you to tell you, but if not, give them a call or log on to your account to see what there is available for you at this time of the year when everyone is looking for a bargain.

Look at Social Media

Another place to find out more about the forthcoming offers is social media. The shops that you follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and elsewhere will all be making an effort to shout about the best deals they have for their fans.

Log on and scroll through to find out what is going on and, you never know, you might find out about some exclusive codes or discounts for followers.

Alternatives to the Usual Black Friday

Perhaps that relative of yours is still not convinced by Black Friday. Well, just because the big retailers are all slashing their prices doesn’t mean you have to take them up on the offer, there are alternative ways to mark this milestone in the year.

Rather than buying new clothes, why not look in your wardrobe and see what items you haven’t worn for a while? A recent survey found that Britons have £10 billion worth of unworn clothes hanging up at home. Discovering some of these gems from the back of the closet would make it feel like you have been out and bought a brand new selection of garments, without having to fear checking your bank balance.

Whilst a lot of the Black Friday buzz is generated by the big hitters in retail and their enormous marketing budgets, you could strike a blow for your local independents by pledging only to spend with them at this time of year. Check out your nearest high street and explore the smaller shops to give them some support whilst much of the rest of the world frequents the major chains.

Some people’s concerns about Black Friday centre around shoppers stockpiling things they don’t need, using up vital resources and creating packaging waste that is damaging for the environment. To counter this, you could seek out ethical and sustainable businesses with whom to spend your money. These are companies who attempt to reduce waste and carbon emissions, pay suppliers a fair price and ensure that everyone in the supply chain is treated well. You know that the products you buy are created with love and care, and that they make as little negative impact on the world as possible.

You never know, you might even find a special gift that will put a smile on the face of that grumpy family member!

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