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26 October 2020

When is Black Friday?

Find out when Black Friday 2020 and Cyber Monday are happening, plus how the sales event could be different this year.
Ellie Simmonds

Black Friday 2020 is likely to look a little different from previous years. Here, we explain when it is - and why you might end up shopping earlier than the day itself.

When is Black Friday 2020?

This year, Black Friday falls on Friday 27 November 2020.

However, many retailers have said they'll be offering deals throughout the month, leading some to name it 'Black November'.

This is partly to avoid large crowds in stores on a single day (or weekend), which is obviously not ideal for social distancing. However, it's also a good way for retailers to shift stock that built up during lockdown and make up for the shortfall in sales that many have experienced this year, thanks to a combination of the pandemic and the overall decrease in high-street footfall.

Here, we'll reveal the best deals that we've spotted so far and explain how Black Friday began plus how it's changed since then.

Black Friday deals 

The Which? experts are working hard to sort the brilliant deals from the duds, highlighting the genuinely impressive discounts on quality items and steering you away from exaggerated offers on rubbish products.

Our best Black Friday deals page will be kept updated with all the biggest and best bargains as they're announced, and you can check out our latest Black Friday news to see all of our coverage.

Last year's Black Friday deals

Our story on Black Friday deals to avoid revealed the so-called 'deals' that shoppers would have regretted snapping up.

Below are the other stories we published - we'll update this page with their 2020 replacements as soon as more deals are released.

Best Black Friday deals by retailer last year

Best small appliance Black Friday deals last year

Black Friday deals on mobile and broadband providers last year

Best tech Black Friday deals last year

Best Black Friday deals on white goods last year

When is Cyber Monday 2020?

Cyber Monday is the Monday directly following Black Friday, and Cyber Monday 2020 falls on 30 November. 

Cyber Monday first started in 2005, when the National Retail Federation, an American trade association, noticed a spike in online sales the Monday after Thanksgiving. 

 Read our Top 15 shopping tips for Black Friday deals to make sure you don't spend more than you need to in the sales.

How did Black Friday begin?

Black Friday originated in the USA. As Thanksgiving always falls on the fourth Thursday in November, the following Friday is often observed as an unofficial holiday. 

Because many people are off work, shops drop prices, usually for one day only, to start the Christmas season. 

UK shops have since caught on to this trend and it was brought across the pond a few years ago. Between 2010 and 2013, Black Friday gradually built up momentum in the UK. In 2014, Black Friday was the peak pre-Christmas online sales day and online retailers haven't looked back since.

How will Black Friday 2020 be different?

Over the last few years, increasing numbers of retailers have released deals in the days or even weeks leading up to Black Friday, rather than waiting until the day itself - and this year many are saying they'll run a whole month of discounts, dubbing it 'Black November'.

Black Friday has become infamous for causing chaos at certain stores, with huge crowds surging into shops and sometimes even physically fighting over sale items - so spreading the discounts over a longer period of time certainly makes sense in order to limit shopper numbers and reduce coronavirus-related safety concerns.

Stores will also have systems in place to limit numbers so even if lots of people do arrive at the same time, they'll have to queue outside until there's enough space in the store to be able to move around while keeping a safe distance from others.

Many stores have implemented guidelines around only touching items you intend to buy, and you may find you can't try clothing on - instead you'll need to take a chance and return things that don't fit.

Of course, many people are unable or unwilling to go to the shops at the moment and will choose to restrict their shopping to online.  

If that's you, and you're tempted to spread the cost with a 'buy now pay later' scheme, check out our story to understand how Clearpay, Klarna, Laybuy and PayPal's 'buy now, pay later' schemes work.

Keep checking our roundup of the best Black Friday 2020 deals for the latest expert pick from Which?.