Willo Talk

IT might not be as well known as Easter Sunday, Shrove Tuesday or Sheffield Wednesday, but Black Friday is becoming a big day on our calendar.

Initially used to describe the stock market crashes in the 1800s, Black Friday gradually became a day in America where the big shops slashed prices on a wide range of goods and opened their doors to frenzied shoppers to fight over what was on offer.

People queue up overnight in sleeping bags, then race into the stores to fill their trolleys before returning home and Facebooking all their mates to brag just how much they have saved.

From what I’ve seen, it looks like bedlam with people scrapping over who saw the cut-price deal first and overworked security staff having to seperate them before things got out of hand.

Like many things from America, such as prom nights, Halloween and gun crime, we have now latched on over here and try our best to follow in the footsteps of the Yanks.

So last Friday, there were huge crowds of people at stores up and down the country looking to see what was on offer for knockdown prices.

Some of the items which caught my eye included watches at Debenhams which were half price, a washing machine at an online site which was down from £500 to £199, and plenty of top-of-the-range mobile phones and cameras which had 70 per cent off.

There was plenty of tat up for grabs as well mind you, and I saw some fancy coffee machine knocked down from £450 to under £200.

Two hundred quid for a coffee machine? Is somebody having a laugh? I think I’d be upset if I found one, never mind shelling out that sort of money for something to gather dust in my kitchen.

The whole idea of Black Friday is to mark the start of the Christmas shopping period apparantly, so it’s no good to those of us who are organised and already have the presents bought, wrapped and shoved in the wardrobe.

It’s also no good for those of us who find ourselves otherwise engaged on Black Friday, with incovenient things like jobs preventing us from snapping up a pre-Christmas bargain.

I suppose it’s a nice touch from the retailers, though the cynic in me suggests once people have battled for a bargain, they’ll still trawl round the shop afterwards and probably end up splashing out on even more rubbish they don’t really need.