Images flowing from across the country on Black Friday, November 24, depict calm queues, orderly behavior and a glaring lack of the violent chaos that typically attends the annual shopping frenzy.
Many Twitter users noted the UK was doing Black Friday "properly" — while it was widely predicted huge crowds would swarm into stores the second they opened as in previous years, several posted videos of deserted storefronts opening without issue, and one or two individuals then calmly entering.
There’s literally not a single queue for Black Friday at Whiteley’s shopping complex pic.twitter.com/bRYf7xRkeB— Jack Gevertz🏳️🌈 (@jackgevertz) November 24, 2017
Aaaaaand it's open for Black Friday. The one keen guy 10 seconds in 😂 pic.twitter.com/py5bKw7olT— Kate West (@Katewest0) November 24, 2017
Others tweeted pictures of eerily deserted shopping malls, recalling the opening scene of 2002 zombie-horror classic 28 Days Later.
Some attributed the failure of Britons to lose their collective consumerist marbles to the meager price reductions on offer, others to the lengthening of Black Friday into a "Black Week" — a policy adopted after violence and tumult marred the event in previous years.
The best thing about Black Friday is that it will soon end.— Samuel Roberts (@SamuelWRoberts) November 24, 2017
This new ‘all week’ Black Friday plan has seriously reduced the entertainment value of the supermarket punch up videos we used to await with eager anticipation— Quiet Storm (@stormofquiet) November 24, 2017
For instance, during Black Friday in 2014, police forces were called to stores across Britain to deal with crowd control issues, assaults, threatening customers and traffic issues. Ever since, many large UK retailers have discontinued, downplayed or heavily modified the concept, citing disruption to typical Christmas trading patterns, and bad publicity.
Nonetheless, the UK's record of shopper-on-shopper hostility on Black Friday pales in comparison to the US' — since 2006, there have been seven reported deaths and 98 injuries throughout the country.
I'm observing no-shopping day today, which isn't difficult because I don't have any money. And the idea of having Black Friday in the UK without even having Thanksgiving is even more ludicrous than the Black Friday in the US. https://t.co/rzr1OPnBHB— Sarah Hurst (@Life_Disrupted) November 24, 2017
There, it's common for prospective shoppers to camp outside stores over the Thanksgiving holiday in an effort to secure a place in front of the line and a better chance of securing desired items.