Cotton On, Kathmandu and Farmers are a few of the many Kiwi retailers taking advantage of the popular US-inspired sales shopping splurge - Black Friday.

Black Friday, which kicks off in New Zealand today, originated in the United States and is a retail extravaganza following Thanksgiving, marking the first day of the US shopping season.

The retail event is a huge deal in the US and UK, and has been picking up in popularity with retailers and consumers in New Zealand over the past few years.

This year New Zealand retailers are offering discounts of between 30 and 70 per cent to mark the occasion, with consumer electronics and clothing tipped to be items with the largest savings to be had.


Clothing retailer Cotton On is hosting a four-day sale starting tomorrow, offering 30 per cent off everything in its stores nationwide.

Kathmandu is offering similar discounts throughout the weekend.

Electronics retailer Harvey Norman is also advertising significant Black Friday discounts, along with The Warehouse, Noel Leeming and Warehouse Stationery.

Black Friday is the second biggest shopping day for Noel Leeming, trailing only Boxing Day.

The Warehouse is again hosting its 'Red Friday' version of the event - its fifth year in a row - offering deals such as $1 on selected toys, HD TVs from $200 and $20 for inflatable pools, tomorrow only.

Warehouse Stationery is also hosting a 'Cyber Weekend' of deals, offering 30 per cent off of computers and 40 per cent off printers and office furniture.

Department store Farmers is hosting a two-day 'Blackout sale' with half price discounts on men's clothing, babyware and up to 60 per cent off small appliances such as kettles and blenders.

While significant shopping discounts were tempting, Canstar general manager Jose George said shoppers should be careful not to get carried away.


"Consumers can grab some fantastic discounts on Black Friday but don't be tempted to get too carried away," George said. "If you are paying by credit card and then fail to pay your balance off in full, at the end of the month the interest you accumulate may eclipse the discount you got in the first place."

George said the same applied for personal finance deals offered.

Growth of Black Friday in New Zealand is on the rise, last year surpassing 160 per cent growth year on year and is expecting to be even bigger this year, according to online price comparison website PriceSpy.

Lisa Matinvesi-Bassett, country manager of PriceSpy New Zealand, said it was expecting participation this year to be even bigger.

"As we enter a more expensive time of year with the Christmas buying period just around the corner, the deals available on Black Friday could help provide consumers with considerable savings up front," she said. "However, rather than rush and make quick, last-minute impromptu splurges that you may later regret, PriceSpy encourages consumers to research the price of a product first, as our data reveals around 10 per cent of products actually receive a price increase on Black Friday."

While Black Friday, which is named after the disruption it causes in the US, has traditionally been a success for bricks and mortar retail, it is becoming an ever-increasing phenomenon for online discounts, too.

Last year shoppers in the US spent US$12.8 billion ($18.6b) - only online - during the five-day shopping festival from Thanksgiving through to Cyber Monday.