Shop Away, Dear Geeks: Black Friday Begins in France!

A typical American tradition, this day of monster sales has arrived in France. On your mark …

Americans are on the starting block. This Nov. 25, across the ocean, buyer’s fever is going to hit consumers like a typhoon does poor people. Every morning after Thanksgiving, the race for Christmas presents begins in the United States in an explosion of sales for the well-named Black Friday: a Black Friday for the sheer amount of people in the stores, and black still for the brands that will be greatly slashed in price.

And here, it seems, there’s nothing bad about “black.”

Why Black Friday? For certain people, its origin comes from the time when you hand-wrote bookkeeping, when deficits were written in red by businesspeople. Around the holidays, the deficits rebounded into the positive and were written in black; others claim that the name is linked to the huge traffic jams that this monumental shopping spree provokes.

Whatever it is, Black Friday has existed for more than a century and curiously, it hasn’t yet arrived in France. At least, not officially. Even if Apple claims to have exported this American tradition three years ago, discounts were so minimal that geeks everywhere laughed. This year, Apple seems to be promising great deals, with discounts of up to €100 on certain products. Think you can do better still? Well, head over to the Apple Store. And to the Apple resellers who promise more notable discounts.

As for Microsoft, they’re being very hush-hush. Not a lot of communication around the event, but promotions all the same via its Live Network: from XBox 360s to PCs, and also the Windows Phone.

Another thing to notice as well: U.S. sales sites with French versions. You’ll be looking at them all the way through Monday: a number of e-commerce sites are proposing a grab-it-now period for shoppers who weren’t able to buy their products on Friday: Cyber Monday.

The major Black Friday products are more than ever of a high-tech nature. The same story in the United States, where high-tech represents the majority of sales during this period. According to the National Retail Federation, this blessed day of consumers unites — surprise! — more men than women and puts computers, tablets and other video games in the spotlight.

This year, the star products of Black Friday in the United States are, no surprises here, the iPad 2, the MacBook Pro, the HP Laptop, the PS3, the Xbox 360 Kinect and the game Call of Duty MW3. Next, according to the poll managed by the National Retail Federation, come high-brand sneakers (Black Air Jordan Cement 3S in the lead), 3D televisions, the iPhone 4S and… Victoria’s Secret lingerie. Oof!

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