Five brands offering a Black Friday alternative

By Paazl
August 7, 2018

Black Friday is one sure way to send your customers into a spending frenzy. With discounts being offered left, right and centre, it is easy to get swept into reducing your entire store. But there is another way! Some brands offer a Black Friday alternative or even skip the retail phenomenon altogether! Here are five examples of brands doing Black Friday a little bit differently.

Cool Blue's Black Friday alternative

1. Coolblue’s Blue Friday

In 2017 Dutch electronics retailer Coolblue started Blue Friday. On Friday 17th November, one week earlier than the actual Black Friday, the Coolblue Blue Friday sale started.

Anticipating that the weekend following Black Friday would overwhelm the delivery carriers, Coolblue decided to beat other retailers and guarantee that their customers would receive their orders in their promised time frame.

We are pleased to see Coolblue are putting delivery at the forefront of their big decisions!

REI Black Friday alternative

2. #OptOutside from REI

Shaking up Black Friday since 2015, last year was the third year of REI’s #OptOutside campaign.

In 2015 REI announced that they would be closing their stores and not processing any online orders on Black Friday. Instead they gave their employees a paid day off with instructions to spend it outside. The camping and outdoor equipment retailer has continued its #OptOutside campaign on the three Black Fridays since and it has now earned tradition and movement status.

Not many retailers would close their doors on the biggest day in the retail calendar. So we can’t help but to admire their dedication to the cause.

Patagonia Black Friday alternative

3. Patagonia donates 100% of Black Friday sales

In 2016 outdoor clothing brand, Patagonia had a record breaking Black Friday and amazingly they gave it all away to environmental causes.

A great way of showing the spirit of their brand. How’s that for a Black Friday alternative?

4. Jigsaw shuns Black Friday

It was – almost – business as usual for British clothing brand Jigsaw on last year’s Black Friday. They skipped the event altogether and instead published a manifesto on their website (please see above) letting their customers know that there would be no discounts this year.

While this Black Friday alternative is not as holiday spirited as other brands, such as Patagonia donating their sales, customers who had purchased items for full price earlier in the season would certainly have been pleased.

Amazon introduced Black Friday to the UK in 2010 so it is still a relatively new event, but the Boxing Day sales are not. Jigsaw stuck with tradition and waited until December 26th to reduce their prices, we look forward to seeing what their plan will be this year!

Everlane's Black Friday alternative

5. Everlane donates to their Black Friday Fund

Everlane’s Black Friday email was less about sales and more about meals.

Everlane donated their Black Friday profits to their Black Friday Fund, something that they have done in previous years too. The fund is working to create a pesticide-free farm in a shipping container – yes that’s right! – which can produce healthy meals for the 4,000 workers at their denim factory in Vietnam.  And all their customers need to do is shop as normal.

This is a great way of highlighting their ethical manufacturing practices. After all not many brands can claim their jeans are made in the world’s cleanest denim factory.


Black Friday is no doubt one of the biggest dates for retail sales in the year. So it is refreshing to see brands opting for a Black Friday alternative. Whether this is to promote ethical practices or simply to make sure there is enough stock to last until Christmas.

Only you know what is best for your customers, but we hope these examples have provided a little bit of Black Friday inspiration, whether you are going to be discounting or not!

This month we are talking all about peak season preparation. For the complete run down on the peak season dates for your diary read our Peak Season 2018: All the dates you need to know blog post.

More inspiration.