It’s finally here – Black Friday week. Or Black Friday fortnight for some.

This year Black Friday is no longer about a day of unbeatable deals but a drawn out promotional marathon as retailers strive to relieve some pressure on warehouse workers and couriers on the biggest shopping day of the year.

Tesco kicked off its 11-day Black Friday bonanza today while Carphone Warehouse’s 10 days of deals began. However, the pair are almost late to the party this year. Amazon – the pioneer of Black Friday in the UK – is already a week into its Black Friday bonanza, while Argos and Shop Direct pushed the button on their deals last Friday.

Elongating the sales period is a smart move by retailers looking to avoid the “delivery chaos” headlines that have blighted previous Black Fridays.

However, it may all be in vain. Similar week-long events were launched by retailers last year and still shoppers waited until the actual day to snap up bargains.

Online the real winner

Black Friday is still in its infancy in the UK and is fast evolving. Last year, those waiting for hordes of shoppers descending on stores were met with an eerily quiet high street as Black Friday shoppers went online for their bargains.

Online is thought to be the big beneficiary of Black Friday again this year – 77% of consumers said they planned to shop on the web compared to just 17% in store, according to a study by PwC. However, it’s increasingly difficult to predict how this fast-changing discounting event will play out.

77% of consumers said they planned to shop on the web [for Black Friday deals] compared to just 17% in store, according to a study by PwC

But Retail Week will help you dissect what is happening with Black Friday Live, in association with PCA Predict, which includes real-time online traffic data, expert commentary and analysis and interviews with some of the UK’s biggest retailers. Make sure you tune in.

Now hold on tight, it’s going to be a crazy week.