While some businesses are involved for today only (23 November), others will continue their offers across the weekend and through to Cyber Monday.
Among those getting in on the action this year are Printed.com, which is offering 20% off everything on site up to midnight today in its own Pink Friday sale, and Solopress, which is offering a 10% discount on jobs over a certain price threshold. Aron Priest, managing director of the Southend-based operation said his company is ready for the inevitable influx.
“This is something that has taken over the e-commerce world now – if you’re not doing it, you’re the odd one out,” he said. “We have done this for the last couple of years, with Amazon leading the way in the market, and it has been fantastic for trade.
“Luckily, we have enough capacity to cope with this and are more than ready as we are completely efficient and can push our percentages up. Anyone who is not taking advantage of Black Friday now, I guarantee they will next year.”
Additionally, The Vinyl Guys is running a half price offer on labels through to Tuesday, Coast Print & Design is offering a discounts on design, print and social media services through to Monday and Dennis Maps is offering multi-buy deals on paper maps until Tuesday.
Ilkeston, Derbyshire-based digital textile printer Woven Monkey is offering 15% off everything on its website through to Monday.
“Black Friday is something that I’d have never thought about five years ago and now I suppose there is an expectation from the customer that a lot of companies, whatever industry you’re in, are going to do some sort of deal. And we see that with people maybe holding back orders in the few days before it,” said managing director Ed Morton.
“There is usually a notable spike in orders and I’m hoping there will be again this weekend. You do have to manage it, but it’s nothing that we can't handle.”
Boston, Lincolnshire-based Chris Cook Print, meanwhile, is offering a 20% discount on all business cards ordered up to 5pm today.
Office manager Tina Parkinson said: “Business cards are a popular item that can be turned around nice and quickly and they’re something that everybody uses so it isn’t restrictive to any type of business, it’s something that everybody could enjoy if they wanted to.
“It’s not always brand new customers that come in on these deals but it might just be a nice incentive for people that have been thinking about getting business cards ordered, to get it in before Christmas.
“I think a few people push their orders forward a bit where they might not normally, although we have had a couple of people contact us that are thinking about getting business cards for the first time, and it’s been a bit of an incentive for them.”
For Warwickshire-based Rubgy Printer, Black Friday is also a yearly tradition. This year, the firm is offering each customer 10% off one order until Monday.
Managing director Carl Thomas said: “When people come on to our website looking for the Black Friday deals, they have an opportunity to explore what we have to offer in a way that they normally would not.
“We are always ready for the day as we are used to fulfilling 800 to 1,000 orders daily anyway and it always attracts new repeat customers to our service.”
Manufacturers are also getting in on the commercial opportunities of the season. Intec has advertised significant discounts on three of its flatbed cutters – £1,000 off the FB520, £1,500 off the FB700 and £1,600 off the FB600.
Black Friday originated in the US as part of the country’s post-Thanksgiving festivities and is regarded there as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
Since its arrival in the UK eight years ago, after an Amazon Black Friday event proved successful, it has become the biggest shopping day of the year and sees many major retailers cut stock prices in an aim to drive footfall and sales in the run-up to Christmas.
Customers spent £1.4bn on Black Friday last year, 11.7% up on 2016. It is predicted that shoppers will spend £1.5bn today alone and market research firm Globaldata expects combined in-store and online receipts will weigh in at £10.4bn across the whole week.