The chaotic scenes of Black Friday 2014 have failed to replicate themselves this year, leaving journalists with no words, photographers with no one fighting over TVs to snap, and video crews with empty shops to film. But fear not, apocalypse fans, because the good folk at Doddle have come up trumps with a survey proving that us Brits will literally fight for a bargain.
Dubbing the day Black "Eye" Friday – yeah, really, this is the most end-of-term press release I've ever read – the delivery company claims 24% of British adults "are prepared to push and shove others out of the way in order to take hold of an item". Adult humans are willing to push and shove to get hold of an item.
Push, shove, spend, repeat...
These are unprecedented times, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you remember where you are right now, because this is one for the grandchildren. Grandchildren who will grow up in a post-shopocalyptic wasteland, huddling for warmth around a pile of discount plasma televisions, a burning supermarket in the background, parents teaching offspring their best pushing-and-shoving-for-an-item technique, passed down from one generation of bargain hunter-gatherers to the next.
Doddle's survey continues to drag us into a pit of despair and cut-price garden furniture, claiming these same British adults – these barbaric pushers and shovers – are likely to spend more on themselves this Black Friday than anyone else, forgetting Christmas, less than a month away, is bearing down on us. The average person will spend £123 on themselves on 27 November, with men blowing £157 and women spending a conservative £94. In London, where everyone's house earns more than they do, the average will be £172 per person.
Over half (54%) of British adults are likely to shop on Black Friday this year, with 60% expecting to see busier high streets than usual because, I quote, "of the queues they saw on TV last year". This is important. This is the key to the madness of 2014.
This is why we all fought over televisions last year. To give ourselves the best possible, high definition, 55in view of the madness. The pushers and shovers probably took notes at this point, watching endless TV news replays of their bargain-grabbing technique, like a sports coach analysing every pass of the ball in pursuit of panic-buying perfection. Some barged their way into Asda in 2014 equipped with GoPros on sticks, and now we know why.
They spent the year analysing, scrutinising, criticising and endlessly chewing the fat on their performance, preparing for Black Friday 2015, where they would buy a larger television with more pixels for an even closer look at what went right and what went wrong. They'll be back in 2016, they will have upped their game, and we had better watch out.
Doddle CEO Tim Robinson understands this. He knows Black Friday is much more than a day of shopping. He knows it is a sport. "Bargain hunting on Black Friday has reached a level of such intensity that it could be our next national sport," he said. Imagine. Black Friday shopping/a punch-up in a supermarket could be Our Next National Sport.
But despite the manic scenes we feared/hoped Black Friday 2015 would deliver, there is one final skill all British adult pushers and shovers are blessed with: the ability to queue. Shoppers are prepared to wait for an average of 90 minutes for a Black Friday pair of shoes, according to Doddle. Ninety minutes for a pair of cheap shoes. It is even worse for those beloved televisions, with queues expected to reach over 100 minutes.
So what have we learnt here? That you have a 24% chance of going shopping on Black Friday and ending up in a fight. That you will spend well over an hour queuing for a pair of shoes. That when I read an insane press release on three hours' sleep, I will turn rowdy shopping into a national sport.