Black Friday is becoming an increasingly popular phenomenon across the UK with leading retailers promising customers huge discounts and offers encouraging people to flock to their websites and stores to grab the best deals. The event has expanded to include offers from airlines, hotels and food retailers who are also jumping on the promotional trend.

According to research by the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), they have estimated that the total spend on UK online retail sites will reach £7.42 billion over the peak Black Friday period (20-27 November 2017), seeing an increase of 15% from the same period in 2016. The IMRG have also predicted that on Black Friday itself (24 November), sales will reach £1.35 billion up 9% from £1.23 billion on Black Friday 2016.

It is not uncommon for retailers to launch online-only offers or deals to entice customers in by pre-registering their interest for promotions on certain products. Shoppers on the hunt for the best deals are also becoming more savvy by going online to make their discounted purchases by comparing different prices across a range of sites and learning to recognise a legitimate deal when they see one.

Retailers are known for pre-promoting Black Friday offers with sneak peaks at the discounts on offer and promotional 'coming soon' messages encouraging shoppers that the best deals are yet to come and deterring them from making purchases earlier than in the Christmas shopping season. However, according to IMRG this year notably fewer retailers have taken this strategic approach with many opting to avoid the mention of Black Friday altogether until the week itself.

Although this time of year is great for consumers trying to snap up bargains, it is important that retailers adhere to the rules laid out in the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP Code), which state that all advertisements should be legal, decent and honest; have a sense of responsibility towards the consumers; and follow the principles of fair competition. Retailers should ensure that they comply with the advertising regulations as failure to do so can result in bad publicity on the Advertising Standards Authority website and legal action by Trading Standards.

More UK retailers than ever before are participating in Black Friday, including high street retailer Next for the first time with promotions online and instore.