Photos show what 'Black Friday' looks like around the world

Don Arnold/Getty ImagesHere’s what some of the biggest shopping days of the year look like around the world.
  • Black Friday, the day after American Thanksgiving, is one of the biggest shopping extravaganzas in the US.
  • Retailers in other parts of the world have also gotten in on Black Friday game, while other countries have their own version of holiday shopping mania altogether.
  • Here’s what ‘Black Friday’ looks like around the world.

Black Friday is one of the biggest and busiest shopping extravaganzas in the US.

In American culture, turkey dinner and bargain hunting go hand-in-hand during the third week of November.

Black Friday has become so popular that retailers in other countries that don’t traditionally celebrate American Thanksgiving, like in Spain and Canada, have embraced the shopping extravaganza.

The annual event isn’t observed everywhere, though – some corners of the globe have their own version of holiday shopping madness.

Here’s what some of the biggest shopping days of the year look like around the world.


Black Friday is one of the biggest — and wildest — shopping days of the year in the US.

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


It unofficially kicks off the holiday shopping season …

Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


… and is traditionally marked by deep discounts and large crowds of eager shoppers.

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


Although in recent years retailers have begun offering deals ahead of Black Friday and competitive discounts online …

Leon Neal/Getty Images

… many US retailers try to lure customers to their stores post-Thanksgiving dinner with some of the hottest deals of the season.

Kena Betancur/Getty Images

The shopping holiday has become so popular that it’s seeped into cultures that don’t even celebrate Thanksgiving …

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

… like Spain, which has fully embraced the discount day.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Spanish retailers, like clothing stores Zara and Mango, saw a 35% increase in sales during Black Friday weekend in 2017 from the previous year as the shopping holiday grows increasingly more popular.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Source: Forbes


Black Friday is also a hit with Brazilians, who clammer for deals on electronics like TVs the day after America celebrates Thanksgiving.

Source: The Independent


And though Mexico doesn’t celebrate Black Friday, its El Buen Fin, or “The Good Weekend,” takes place during the same time as the US’s bargain-filled Thanksgiving weekend.

Source: Quartz


But the discounts aren’t as striking during El Buen Fin as they are in the US — some retailers only slash 50% off of prices.

Source: Quartz


Amazon introduced the concept of Black Friday to Britain in 2010, and it’s since become the biggest shopping day in the UK.

HGL/Getty Images

Source: The Telegraph


Stores in the UK began offering Black Friday sales following American Thanksgiving in November, despite it being a holiday unique to the US.

Dan Dennison/Getty Images

Source: The Telegraph


Stores like English chains House of Fraser and Topshop, as well as Amazon online, are offering Black Friday deals for things like clothing and electronics in 2018.

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Source: The Mirror and The Mirror


And, like in the US, bargain hunters have been known to get quite competitive in stores on Black Friday.

Source: Business Insider


In 2014, police were called to stores across the UK as Black Friday sales turned into “mini riots.”

Source: The Guardian


But despite the frenzy around Black Friday …

Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Source: BBC and The Telegraph


… Boxing Day is also still a huge shopping day in the UK.

Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

Source: BBC and The Telegraph


Boxing Day takes place the day after Christmas. Traditionally, it was the day servants and their families celebrated Christmas together, since they would work on Christmas day. It was also the day collections for the poor taken on Christmas were opened. The holiday has since become a popular day for shoppers in the UK to return their unwanted Christmas gifts.

Matthew Lloyd/Getty ImagesBlack Friday shoppers on Oxford St. in England.

Source: USA Today, The Spruce


Retailers caught on to this trend, piling on door-buster sales for customers who are already coming in for exchanges, turning Boxing Day into its own shopping spectacle.

Don Arnold/Getty Images

Source: USA Today


Britons spent about $US4.8 billion USD on Boxing Day in 2015 compared to $US2.6 billion USD on Black Friday that same year.

Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Source: BBC and The Telegraph


Unlike Black Friday, Boxing Day is an official national holiday for people in the UK, Canada, Australia, and South Africa, among other places with British ties. They get the day off …

Don Arnold/Getty Images

Source: USA Today


… though cramming yourself into throngs of mall-goers still seems like a lot of work.

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Millions of shoppers spill into stores, such as department stores in London, in hopes of finding bargains.

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Source: Mirror


The scenes look very much like that of Black Friday in the US.

Brendon Thorne/Getty ImagesShoppers in Australia take on Boxing Day sales in 2010.

The throngs of London shoppers have been called “mobbish” in their quest for Boxing Day deals.

HGL/Getty Images

Source: Mirror


One American tourist shopping in the UK on Boxing Day even told The Mirror that the scene was “really a madhouse compared to the United States. I don’t think we have this at all.”

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Source: The Mirror


Unlike pre-holiday shoppers, Boxing Day shoppers have historically opted more so for brick-and-mortar shopping rather than online.

Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Source: Fortune


In 2015, about 78% of Boxing Day transactions were expected to take place in retail outlets as opposed to online, though the latter has become increasingly more popular.

Source: Mirror


In fact, online shopping around the holidays is gaining traction in many countries.


Even though Thanksgiving isn’t widely observed in India, online retailers have begun appealing to shoppers in India, as citizens there have increasingly used Amazon to search for items that are on sale during Black Friday.

Source: Business Insider India


Among the items are electronics, which are especially popular in India.

Source: Business Insider India


But that’s just online. Black Friday doesn’t have a strong foothold in India when it comes to in-store shopping.

Source: BBC


Their main shopping day is during Diwali, the ancient Hindu festival of lights. During this holiday, millions of lanterns light homes and streets across the world.

Source: Birmingham Mail


The festival also marks a shopping extravaganza for those who participate.

Source: BBC


The first day of the five-day-long festival is known as Dhanteras and is when the most shopping takes place.

Source: BBC and Birmingham Mail


Flash sales and discounted market items abound.

Source: BBC


Thousands of people hit the streets in India for not-to-miss bargains on clothes, jewellery, lights, and more.

Source: Times of India


Many buy silver or gold in particular.

Source: Indian Express


It’s considered a sign of good fortune to purchase gold during Diwali.

Source: Indian Express


Utensils, like bowls and plates, are also a popular choice.

Source: Indian Express


There have always been slashed prices during this time, but e-commerce has gotten involved in recent years.

Source: BBC


Amazon and Indian online marketplaces like Flipkart, which is owned by Walmart, offer discounted deals on electronics like smartphones during the annual festival.

Source: Quartz and Quartz


For example, one of Amazon’s Diwali Special Great Indian Festival deals this year was a Rs 2,000 discount, or $27 USD, on the One Plus 6T smartphone, which was on sale for Indians for the first time.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Source: First Post and Business Today


The e-commerce industry, led by Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart, was projected to rake in $US3 billion in sales during the five-day Diwali festival alone.

Source: Live Mint and Quartz


That’s still a large amount compared to the $US8 billion brought in from online shopping last year in Black Friday and Thanksgiving sales.

Source: Big Commerce


In addition to India, Chinese retails also tend not host Black Friday shopping sales.

China Photos/Getty Images

Source: BBC


Instead, Chinese citizens have what they call Singles’ Day every year on November 11, just days before Black Friday.

Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images

Source: Bloomberg


The unofficial occasion began in the 1990s as a way for Chinese youths to embrace their singlehood in a society that emphasises marriage …

Getty Images

Source: Bloomberg


… before billionaire Jack Ma and his company Alibaba capitalised on the holiday in 2009, pinning shopping promotions with Singles’ Day marketing to draw more sales.

Source: Bloomberg


It has since exploded into the world’s largest online shopping day, surpassing Black Friday altogether.

VCG/Getty Images

Source: Bloomberg


Chinese shoppers spent a whopping $US18 billion on Singles’ Day in 2016.

Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images

Source: BBC


And more than twice as much product is sold just on Singles’ Day than during the five-day period spanning Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

Source: Bloomberg


Much of those sales are through Alibaba, which raked in $US14 billion USD from 2015 Singles’ Day sales alone.

Source: BBC


But other retailers like Alibaba competitor JD.com have also since joined Alibaba in offering customers discounts of up to 70% off on Singles’ Day.

Source: BBC


Alibaba also has plans to flesh out brick-and-mortar stores, so Singles’ Day could eventually resemble the chaotic in-store stampedes of Black Friday.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty ImagesIndiana shoppers in a Target on Black Friday in 2005.

Source: BBC

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