Black Friday is the biggest shopping event of the year. It is a highly anticipated day for shoppers and businesses. People benefit from low prices, and it brings extra sales and a spike in revenue for sellers. 

But you as a buyer or seller, do you have an idea about how Black Friday became such a big shopping day?

How did Black Friday get its name? And its history and origin?

To understand the concept of Black Friday, we need first to understand why it’s on the last Friday of November and understand the origin of the Holiday Shopping Season. 

The holiday shopping season is the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving is celebrated in the USA on the fourth Thursday of November. Originally it was on the last Thursday of November. 

In the 1930s, there was a five-Thursday November, and some retailers asked President Roosevelt if the date for the holiday could be a week earlier to give people more time to shop for Christmas. So he decided that Thanksgiving will be the fourth Thursday in November rather than the last Thursday, meaning in some years one week earlier, to lengthen the shopping season, hoping that the sales would boost the US economy.

Before naming it Black Friday, it was called the day after Thanksgiving, because retailers followed an unwritten rule that the holiday shopping season will start until Friday, after Thanksgiving so that people can start buying gifts for Christmas. No one advertised the sales until Friday. That’s what made the biggest shopping event of the year on Friday.

Now that we understood why Black Friday, is on Friday, let’s understand why it’s referred to as Black. 

There are three different stories of Black Friday: 

  • The first time the phrase “Black Friday” was used, it had nothing to do with Christmas shopping, to a financial crisis, in 1869, due to the crash of the U.S. gold market.
  • The second story was that Police officers in Philadelphia were the first to call to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day “Black Friday” in the 1950s. Police officers had long shifts and couldn’t rest because large crowds of tourists and shoppers came to the city the day after Thanksgiving for a football game, and created chaos, traffic jams, and shoplifting. So they called that day Black Friday.
  • The retailers started to call the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday”, because of the big number of sales and shopping volumes, that pushed their financials “into the black” for the year. The phrase “in the black” refers to being financially solvent or making a profit. The phrase, “in the red” means to be in debt, or not making money. Retail companies used to record losses in red and profits in black. 

Today we talked about the origin of Black Friday, and we didn’t talk about the Marketing part of it, wait for us tomorrow, with a second part, where we will talk about why some brands don’t make sales on Black Friday, statistics, and also the Black Friday in Egypt and Arab countries. 

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