Gear up for “Black” Friday as one of the biggest shopping events of the year is just around the corner. Despite the event’s popularity all across the globe, not many people are aware of the beginning of this shopping festival. How did it all begin and when did it become a ‘thing’?
Let’s take a look at the history of the mega shopping day and how it is celebrated around the world.
The first question that pops into everyone’s mind is what does the word Black Friday actually signify and why does it include the color Black.
Word “Black” is normally used to describe catastrophic, unfortunate or sad events but no it doesn’t have anything to do with representing any kind of calamity or anything here. It simply represents the day where most of the things are on super sale, exciting right?
The day marks the start of the Christmas shopping season and it is normally celebrated on the day after Thanksgiving – which is the last Thursday of November – in the US. In many countries around the world it is celebrated on the last Friday of November, however, sales start way before that day.
History and Background
The name comes from a slightly darker history. Some refer to it as the time when people got sick. Later on, in the 1950s, people use to take the day off from offices and used illness as an excuse which is why the term Black was used.
However, the most popular definition says that in the 1970s, the day after Thanksgiving saw huge amounts of traffic on the roads and the following days were called Black Friday and Black Saturday.
The concept of this day dates as far back as 19th century. The name “Black Friday” started to revolve around 1970s. In 1975, people used the term “Black Friday” to demonstrate how ugly the traffic and people’s behavior were during shopping. On November 29, 1975, New York Times used the term Black Friday for what it termed as the “the busiest shopping and traffic day of the year”.
The term sounded catchy and became popular shortly afterwards. There are several other myths revolving the name but this one seems the most convincing.
The shopping practice on this day started from the United States originally, however, it became pretty popular around the world quickly.
Initially, it was just celebrated for one day but as the world progressed and online shopping became a thing, the concept of sales extended for few extra days. Currently the shopping discounts start around November and continue for two weeks before and after Thanksgiving Day.
Celebrations around the world
We will start with Pakistan.
Pakistan was a bit late to observe the mega shopping day. Daraz.pk was the first to bring Black Friday notion to Pakistan in 2015, when it partnered with Easypaisa and offered good deals to consumers.
After that other sellers followed the trend and it was explosive. Currently many websites including Daraz, Yayvo and others are offering amazing sales. Black Friday 2017 celebrations have already begun in Pakistan.
Some of the states of USA, including California and Georgia, already have official public holidays on Black Friday. As US is the pioneer of this widely recognized shopping day, you would certainly expect people going crazy for deals over there.
Every year, it is described as the busiest shopping day by the US media. It was on top of the list of busiest shopping days in 2003 and it has remained at that position since then.
Though Black Friday shopping day has gained popularity in the UK during the past few years, they use it in a different context too. The term is used to refer to the Friday just before Christmas when emergency services are on alert to cope with any extraordinary situations.
American retailers have run campaigns to give the day a recognition as shopping day in the UK. “Walmart’s Black Friday by ASDA” was a similar attempt to give the idea of American Black Friday to the UK citizens.
French is also slowly moving to towards the shopping craze of this day. International retailers like Apple offered as much as 85% discounts back in 2014. Some of the local French companies like Darty and Auchan are also advertising for the huge day.
The Day in this part of the world is not as famous as it is in the US but it is growing in popularity. Most of the international retailers are offering Black Friday deals to attract new customers. Local German companies have also started to show interest.
In 2016 Germans spent almost €1.3 billion during four days around Black Friday sales.
The popularity of Black Friday has almost increased by 50% from 2013 in India. The main reason why it is gaining so much attention is because of e-commerce websites like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal, which came together to offer mega deals.
Apart from these countries, Black Friday is observed globally in Canada, Norway, Mexico and Romania among many others.
According to a survey the sales hit an astounding $51 billion mark on Black Friday in 2014 and reached greater milestones in the years that came later. This year, its expected to grow even further as more markets begin to celebrate the biggest shopping event of 2017.