Black Friday arrives in Britain, and Brits are bemused

Brits have begrudgingly come to accept that Black Friday is probably here to stay in the U.K.

Ever since Amazon.co.uk brought the event to the U.K. in 2010, Black Friday has grown in importance as a retail event, even though there’s no Thanksgiving. Visa Europe estimates British shoppers will spend £1 million ($1.6 million) every three minutes today, up 22 percent on last year. Major retailers like Tesco and Argos all saw their websites crash due to the level of demand.

But perhaps more importantly, the day has become a fun online spectacle for those less interested in the sales themselves. Let’s face it, watching people fight over a half price toaster is probably more fun than actually doing it yourself. Just as the U.S. sees most years, Black Friday has become a day full of animated posts mocking the futility of it all. Nearly 70,000 Black Friday tweets have been sent in the U.K. so far, according to We Are Social, nearly triple a year ago. Black Friday has been the top trending topic on Twitter all day.

The reason why is put best by Nigel Fletcher:

This morning, customers lived up to the British stereotype by forming an orderly queue outside some of the country’s supermarket stores.

Walmart-owned Asda invited the media to come and witness the “safe excitement” of its Black Friday sale. This scene shows tabloid paparazzi lined up inside to capture the action.

Asda even brought in cheerleaders to add some glamor to the proceedings. Buzzfeed’s UK editor Luke Lewis expressed his dismay:

Somewhat predictably, things got out of hand when they opened the doors.

News sites have been keen to satisfy peoples’ curiosity to see the mayhem unfold.

Black Friday prompted plenty of satirical tweets from brands and small businesses throughout the day.

The British stiff upper lip was on show with tweets playing on the “keep calm and carry on” meme.

There was plenty of sarcasm on show too.

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