The fight for Black Friday got under way today as etail giant Amazon launched its deals for the sales extravaganza.

The US behemoth has unveiled a 12-day spectacular in the lead up to the big day, a week on Friday. Last year, Amazon ran a week-long event, selling an incredible 7.4 million items, and will no doubt be hoping to improve on that this year.

Meanwhile, rival Argos, with the backing of new owner Sainsbury’s, is set to launch a 13-day Black Friday blitz this Friday.

While the US-inspired sales frenzy creates a feeling of dread among some retailers, there’s no doubting it has gained a place in consumers’ hearts and will be difficult for the sector to shake despite its margin-eroding offers.

But not everybody is happy about the increasing commercialisation around the Christmas period. More than 120,000 people have signed a petition calling for shops to shut on Boxing Day to give retail staff a rest.

Elsewhere, across the Atlantic, American Apparel has filed for bankruptcy in the US, less than a week after administrators were appointed for its UK business.

Quote of the day 

“I don’t have time to talk to you. Please leave my property”

What former BHS owner Dominic Chappell reportedly told a journalist who doorstepped him following news of his arrest 

Today in numbers

The number of people who have signed a petition calling for shops to close on Boxing Day

The loss recorded by fashion chain Whistles in the year to January 30, 2016

Tomorrow’s agenda

A temperature check in the grocery war as Kantar and Nielsen release their monthly figures, while value operator B&M updates the market with first-half numbers.

James Wilmore, news editor