Where did it start?
The Black Friday phrase as we know it dates back to the 1961s in Philadelphia. The police used to describe the increased traffic and pedestrians clogging the streets the day after Thanksgiving. Signalling the start of the shop, shop, shop season for the upcoming Christmas holidays.
The earliest documented use was the 1950s in an engineering magazine that referred to Black Friday as the day after Thanksgiving, where workers would call in sick to have a long weekend.
Why is it called Black Friday?
In the early 1980s, businesses decided that they didn't like the negative connotation of Black Friday as defined in 1961 and decided to circulate a more positive tone.
In accounting, numbers printed in black ink is profit, called being "in the black" and losses in red ink being "in the red", hence Black Friday's positive transition.
It is clear why this day has become so trendy over the years and why it is so important for retailers.
How does COVID-19 affect shoppers and retailers on Black Friday?
COVID-19 has forced a shift in day to day behaviour and consumption patterns, but also stores have been pushing to get online years before the pandemic even started. Trying to avoid the bad press on a day some would describe it as an "extreme sport"?
Over the last two years of the pandemic, there has been a clear trend booming of more businesses going the e-commerce route. You can get online shops for almost anything your heart may desire these days. All while physical stores are getting less traffic. Physical stores are struggling to make a living, and malls are losing shops left, right and centre, but to their rescue, there are still people that are reluctant to buy online and prefer the in-store experience.
Covid has forced businesses to be more creative to extend business to an online shopping platform. Retailers are starting to release Black Friday deals earlier and earlier, some as early as October to prevent site crashes on that one specific day of the year.
For those of you planning to hit the stores for Black Friday on 26 November, be safe, and be healthy!
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