Black Friday, the retail phenomenon that follows the US national holiday of Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November, is coming up this week with stores offering big discounts in time-limited deals.
The traditionally one-day event (as well as 'Cyber Monday', its internet commerce cousin) marks the start of the Christmas shopping period and is notorious for inciting a frenzy among bargain-seeking American consumers. Each year new reports of violence emerge. The website blackfridaydeathcount.com has even kept track of the number of deaths and injuries relating to the day, with the death toll currently seven.
That's unlikely to deter shoppers this Friday, some of which will queue well in advance. Some deals, however, have already been launched, and many are accessible to Irish shoppers seeking a good bargain. A list of just some of the tech and gadget retailers stocking getting in on the act below.
Adobe is offering just the one Black Friday special but it's likely to appeal to budding graphic designers and filmmakers. Any first time subscribers who sign up to the company's Creative Cloud package before 28 November will receive the service for the price of $49.19 a month, reduced from the usual fee of €61.49 a month.
The Creative Cloud package offers a variety of Adobe software including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and more.
As was the case last year, Amazon is focusing on ‘Lightning Deals’ – promotions that offer a limited number of discounts on items for a set amount of time. Open up a discounted product's page currently and you'll see a status bar that reveals how well the item is selling and how much time you have to claim your own. A wide range of products are available, including video games, gadgets, electronics and audio-visual equipment. New deals will be added between 8am and 9am every day this week.
Ireland does not have a dedicated Amazon site but customers can still check out deals on Amazon.com for products in the US. To avoid larger shipping fees, however, Amazon.co.uk or other EU-based sites are perhaps worth visiting first.
Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse is offering deals on Apple iPhones all week. This includes iPhone 5s for free on a bill-pay package and the recently release iPhone 6 from €59.99, also on a bill-pay. Those offers are only available in the company's bricks-and-mortar outlets.
Online shopping outlet Pixmania.ie is offering up to 60pc off a number of audio and video products up until 2 December. This includes a variety of televisions, speaker systems and projectors.
According to an email sent by e-commerce firm PayPal and obtained by Gamer Headlines, Valve’s online games portal Steam will offer discounts on thousands of games from Wednesday (26 November) to the end of the week. Those dates have yet to be confirmed by Valve itself, however, and no titles included in the sale have been announced.
Irish electronics retailer Power City has a number of Black Friday deals taking over its website and available in-store today, while stocks last. Deals include a €200 laptop, and a number of cut-price TVs including a €400 42-inch LG smart TV and a 51-inch set from Samsung for €470. Checking online also means you can see stock levels in-stores in real-time.
The Ilac Centre, Dublin
The first-ever Black Friday Discount Day will take place in The Ilac Centre, Dublin with many retailers offering deals and discounts until the centre closes at 7pm – though some stores plan to stay open even later. Participating stores can be identified with the Black Friday Discount Day signs. For more information, check out @IlacCentre on Twitter.
HMV and Xtra-vision
HMV and Xtra-vision stores nationwide are offering up to 60pc of music, movies, games and technology products – as well as 40pc off vinyl records, for those who like to keep it old-school. Breaking Bad fans can pick up the complete box set in a tin for €50 and the kids can get the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie box set out of their pocket money for just €6.
For gamers, HMV and Xtra-vision have cut prices for titles such as Halo: Master Chief Collection, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, FIFA 15 and Assassin’s Creed: Rogue. For these deals you don’t have to necessarily race to the store today, either, as the sale continues until Sunday 30 November.
Tesco’s Black Friday event is another that will run for three days this weekend, offering discounts of up to 70pc across the store. The sale items include over 200 electrical, entertainment, mobile and DIY products as well as children’s toys. For example, there’s a HD-ready LED TV going for 50pc off and significant discounts are promised on games console bundles.
To keep abreast of ongoing online deals even after Black Friday has passed, PromoCodes.ie keeps users informed of discount deals and codes currently available at a range of stores.
Black Friday image via Shutterstock