It’s that time of year again where obscure branded TV’s and other gadgets and gizmos get trundled out on pallets for the consumer frenzy that is Black Friday.
If you’ve ever wondered where this shopping phenomenon came from and how it ended up in the UK then read on as Retroheadz takes a look at what Black Friday is, how it got its name and more.
What is Black Friday?
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years it’s a notable shopping day that falls on the day after Thanksgiving in the US.
It’s basically the unofficial kick-off to the Christmas holiday shopping season and Black Friday is characterized by massive sales, discounts, and sometimes chaotic scenes as shoppers scramble to retail stores.
Why is it Called Black Friday?
The origins of the term Black Friday are multifaceted. One early use dates back to the Panic of 1869 when two financiers tried to corner the gold market, leading to a crash.
However, the term’s association with post-Thanksgiving shopping appears to stem from 1960s Philadelphia. Police in the city used Black Friday to describe the day due to the heavy traffic and chaos it brought (which is fair).
As Black Friday grew in retail significance, a more positive spin emerged, suggesting that Black Friday was the day retailers turned a profit, moving from “in the red” to “in the black.”
Over the years, it has transformed from a single day of shopping to an extended shopping event. Stores began opening their doors earlier, with some starting sales at midnight or even on Thanksgiving evening.
This shift led to some pushback, with a few retailers choosing not to open on Thanksgiving.
Thanks to the rise of online shopping, digital retailers introduced Cyber Monday, a day dedicated to online sales.
This emphasis on online shopping has allowed many to access Black Friday deals without facing in-store crowds and more and more, right from the beginning of November rather than on the day as retailers look to maximise the hype and perhaps control the frenzy to a more manageable level especially for brick and mortar shops.
When Did Black Friday Go Global?
While it originated in the United States, its reach has expanded globally. Countries such as Canada, the UK, and Australia, among others, have Black Friday sales, often without the context of Thanksgiving.
The UK’s first Black Friday event was in 2010.
As a result, Black Friday has become a global shopping phenomenon, where consumers worldwide snap up deals and discounts and we get to see the chaos it brings on the news like this where many of us Brits would tut profusely together at home and at work about the madness of it all.
So is it Here to Stay?
We reckon so.
It remains a pivotal event in the retail calendar and one that is here to stay by the looks of things.
The savvy shopper can literally save a small fortune if they plan and hunt for the best deals and get the Christmas lists all sorted. This saves many from the Christmas Eve panic shop and for those that love a bit of chaos in their lives whether in the shops or watching the chaos unfold on the telly it seems that it has now become a staple for many beyond the US.
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