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Black Friday Around the World?

Blogskull48From Nixxee:

Guys, just a quick question.  Now that the dust from the stampeding hordes has settled a bit.  Since Thanksgiving is a North American holiday, I was wondering if our fellow slaves NOT in the US have scene some kind of a push for a "Black Friday" from the corporate machine where you live?

Here's to turkey sandwiches and pumpkin pie for all!!!




Canada here.

For us, that would be Boxing Day, Dec. 26. However, I'm starting to notice that a few retailers are trying to kick Canada over into Black Friday hell as well. So far, it's not sticking. I hope it stays that way.


Here in Canada we have boxing day (the day after Christmas) However.. We do things a little differently. Stores are open normal hours and we generally don't assault each other over $2 waffle makers.

Boxing day comes nowhere close to the madness of black friday.

Green Grin

Boxing Day all the way! On Boxing Day a store might open an hour or two earlier and stay open a bit later. Maybe a store that would normally open at 7 or 8 would have doorbusters at 6am. All in all it's pretty tame. The malls are busy and the lineups are insane but people don't behave any worse than usual. The only crowd control I've seen are security guards letting people into stores in small groups so they don't break the fire code with too many occupants. After the first hour it usually isn't necessary and they just stick around to catch shoplifters.

I did notice a few store trying to do the whole Back Friday/Cyber Monday thing this year. Most of them were US based stores but some were Canadian stores begging for business. I couldn't be bothered to actually shop but I did do some online sales.

I think Old Slavery opened at midnight on Friday in Canada. I don't know why. I wouldn't have even known if I hadn't been shopping in one the week before and saw a sign. It couldn't have been very profitable.


Black Friday is starting to catch on a little more here, just to stop everyone from heading south to do their shopping (support local retailers and all that) but like everyone said above it's much smaller than Boxing Day which in turn is nothing like the madness of American Black Friday.


Can someone explain Boxing Day? My understanding was people gave each other gifts on Boxing Day like we do on Christmas, but we don't buy gifts on Christmas. We buy the gifts in advance. If you are buying this stuff on Boxing Day, then when are you giving the gifts? That same day? And, by the way, the day after Christmas is actually one of the busiest shopping days of the year here in the US too as people rush out to spend the gift cards they have received and exchange gifts for things they really wanted.


France here,
we don't have anything as big, we have two national sale period ( summer and winter), they last about one month, and now stores have the right to have big promotions two or three times per year whenever they want.
It used to be (10 years ago) that the first days of the sale period was a big deal, with queue of people, pushing & shoving.. but now it's pretty tame.
And usually some stores open on one of the first sunday ( mostly just Ikea will be open on any given sunday, the rest is closed, by law, there's very few exceptions.)


@Carotte So there are laws banning (some) stores from being open on Sunday in France?


Ron, speaking for Germany (and as far as I know, a variety of European countries); HELL YES THERE ARE!
Where I live, pretty much only gas stations and food industry are allowed to be open as long as they want, and among pharmacies usually one out of 5 in an area is open night and sundays (like, they take turns).
Otherwise, retail is restricted to mo-sa, and not more than 18h a day (although on that I'm guessing since most are nowhere near that).
A couple times a year, especially in december, cities will declare an "open sunday", where shops will open probably 10am - 6pm or something.
Also, might I add that our shops close at noon on christmas eve and don't open until 27th?

love and lots of chocolate&caffeine to you guys over there...

The Kid

Tom, people don't buy Christmas gifts on Boxing Day. They usually buy themselves or their family stuff, like televisions and stuff. It's basically you go buy whatever you didn't get for Christmas. Everyone I know opens presents on Christmas morning or Christmas Eve.
Wal-Mart is the only store in my neck of the woods who tried to Black Friday thing and it flopped. I know a bunch of people who travelled to the states for Black Friday though.


@Ron, pretty much the same as Germany then. The very few exceptions are for stores in highly touristic areas ( like on the Champs Elysée, that well known street in the center of Paris, or the museums stores since the museums are open) and for (usually small) stores the owner and his family have the right to open and work, but no one outside the family can help them.
Ikea doesn't fit in any of these but they must have gotten a special derogation somehow.


New Zealand has Boxing Day as well. It's something that came across from England and stuck with (like many Commonwealth countries, our traditions tend to be based on England).

But I don't think it could ever compare with the madness of Black Friday. Last sale I went to was loud and tiring, but had a distinctive lack of assault and insanity.

Green Grin

Tom, The Kid is right. Boxing Day sales exist so you'll spend a whole bunch of money on yourself buying what you didn't get for Christmas before your credit card bill comes and reality sets in. It's not really a gift exchange day, at least in Canada. The only presents I ever got on Boxing Day were from family who I didn't see on Christmas Day at our annual get together.

Dental Bitch

Australia here - Boxing Day is for super dooper cheap shit at the stored, and also time to return unwanted crap. I avoid shops on boxing day, I hate crowds, I have too short a temper and I always end up snapping at people. But we're geenrally pleasant people who dont pepper spray one another for an xbox

Retail Psycho

Australia here as well. As Dental Bitch said we have th boxing day sales. There is also a shopping centre near me (read mall for americans) That trades from 8am on the 23rd to midnight of the 24th so that's 40 hours straight of trade and pretty much every business in the centre is involved in it. I stay away from the shops on boxing day and during the 40 hour trade


@Tom: We give gifts to each other on Christmas (or Christmas Eve, depending on some traditions) just like everybody else.... not sure where you heard that.

Popcorn Pit Slave

In my mall, a few retailers were trying to do Black Friday. I even had a few custys asking if my store was doing Black Friday, which to me makes no sense to me since we already had Thanksgiving back in October. People are just cheap (myself included)!

Popcorn Pit Slave

This is in Canada, by the way.


New Zealand here and yeah, while we do have Boxing Day sales there's nothing to compare to the insanity that Black Friday seems to be.

But on another note more and more of our statutory holidays are being erroded by shops who want to trade (and by extension, want their staff to work rather than spend time with their families). I'm sort of torn on Easter trading (it's a religious holiday, so why not open... but then again it's nice to have a mandatory day or two off). But some places like McDonalds are starting to open on Christmas day and I think that's just wrong. Give your staff at least one day they can count on!


Oh, and it wasn't that long ago that you couldn't open on a Sunday in NZ, either :)


The closest thing we have in Germany might be "Verhaufsoffener Adventsontag/samstag". As shop opening times are heavily regulated all over Germany it depends in which state you are. But the normal procedure is to open on the last 4 Sundays before Christmas or open longer on those Saturdays.


@cookiemonster Caffeine would be awesome...I live in the States, and the one silver lining to not having a job right now is that even though I'm busting my ass at school, I didn't have to work a Black Friday sale. :D


Well thank goodness the contagion has been contained thus far.

Retail Psycho

@Tom. Boxing day has nothing to do with gift giving. It's just the day the shops start their big sales push to get rid of all the holiday stock they over ordered and couldn't sell.

@Tanz. McDonalds might be opening on xmas at some stores but they do at least compensate the staff for working and they ask for volunteers to work. They don't force anyone to work and if there aren't enough volunteers they don't open. I worked one xmas for them and earnt a $1000 bonus as well as about $80/hr for a full 8 hour shift.


OK, so my misconceptions about Boxing Day have been corrected, but it now seems to me that it is basically the same thing that we do on the day after Christmas here in the US. We don't call it Boxing Day, but we all go out to the stores to spend the gift cards we received, buy the items we wanted but didn't get, and exchange the things we got but didn't want. There aren't really any sales though as the retailers know they're going to get the business anyway.


South Africa checking in:

No Black Friday at all for us - its only something I've heard about since frequenting this site (lucky us). No Boxing Day sales either - but last year I worked the 26th (bookstore slave at the time) and it was insanely busy - I guess for the same reasons as mentioned.



Australia here. Most of our big department store go on sale on boxing day with their end of season sales and it is generally considered the busiest day of trade because of that.


Report from Finland here.
Luckily we don't have such an insane day over here, things spread more evenly.
Generally sales are kept away from the the period just before Christmas, since gift shoppers "have to" get their things regardless of the price. In Denmark on the other hand, I've noticed that stores have sale events in eg. late November, to encourage people to get their shopping done early, and hence spread the rush out.

The sale period starts with big ads directly after Christmas (on 27th) with "Välipäivä-ALE", but the serious discounts eg. for clothing won't kick in before January. Late June to July is the second sale period, but that also mainly for clothing.

Opening times are rather restricted here also, 10-15 years ago pretty much everything was strictly closed on Sundays, nowadays pretty normal times are 8 - 21 (10 - 20 for large specialty stores, 10 - 18 for smaller specialty stores) Mo - Fri, 8 - 18 on Saturdays and 12 - 18 on Sundays. Small grocery- and convenience stores (less than 600 sq. metres if I remember correctly), aswell as stores in rural areas are pretty much allowed to stay open whenever they want.

One thing limiting late/long opening hours is that employees in retail need to be paid extra for working after 18.00 on weekdays, after 13.00 on Saturdays (I think it's something like 10 - 20 % of the hourly pay), and Sunday = ka-ching, double the pay, which is very good for eg. students, who can work a couple of long shifts during the weekend and then focus on studies the rest of the day.

Sweden has always been more liberal with opening hours.. and their sale period starts early in the morning on Christmas Day! (People in the Nordic countries/Scandinavia celebrate on Christmas eve) - while Finland pretty much is in a standstill - almost no stores, almost no public transport until 2nd Christmas Day, and even then only grocery stores can open, specialty retail have to wait for 27:th.

As a curiosity.. in Denmark all the stores seem to arrange a sale for their "Birthday". This wouldn't be so strange, if they wouldn't celebrate that birthday 4 - 6 times A YEAR :o

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