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What is Black Friday? the history behind the name and the global shopping culture

Black Friday is the most popular shopping holiday of the year. It marks the beginning of the shopping season for Christmas.

What is Black Friday? the history behind the name and the global shopping culture

Black Friday is the day that follows Thanksgiving day in the United States of America. In the U.S., Thanksgiving Day marks the fourth Thursday of November, and the next day, which is a Friday, is called Black Friday. 

The origin and History

Various stories revolve around the meaning of Black Friday. As the name has the word “black” it easily gets an impression of an ominous day. But actually, Black Friday is a festive day for both, retailers and customers.

 The term “Black Friday” was first coined in the year 1869. It happened when two investors, Jay Gould, and Jim Fisk, caused a market crash by driving up the price of gold. This resulted in the stock market dropping 20%, foreign trade stopped, and farmers witnessing a huge drop in corn and wheat value. 

The popularity of “Black Friday” occurred much later, in Philadelphia during the late 1950s and early 1960s by the locals, especially the policemen. There used to be an Army-Navy football game following Thanksgiving. And this event would summon massive crowds of tourists and shoppers, putting a lot of strain on local law enforcement to keep everything in line. 

Much later in the 1980s, the term became synonymous with shopping. At that time, new stories about Black Friday were curated by retailers to boost sales. One such popular story talks about the symbolic meaning of black in sales. Back in the day, accountants used a different color of the ink — red for negative earnings and black for positive earnings — to denote a company’s profitability. 

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And following previous events of high sales following Thanksgiving, Black Friday soon became the day when stores finally turned a profit. 

This way, the name stuck.

Initially, it was an all-American shopping season, but soon in the 2000s, it became a global shopping phenomenon, spiking tremendous sales sprees.

The popularity of Black Friday Sale in India

What is Black Friday
Photo by CardMapr.nl on Unsplash

A shopping tradition that originated in the United States of America in the 80s soon became a global phenomenon. Nearly all nations follow the American trend of hefty discounts. This phenomenon of the Black Friday Sale is a prime example of globalization.

Black Friday sales began their international popularity in the 2000s. A time when e-commerce was slowly finding its way into the global market. As multinational companies further expanded, so did their culture.  

In recent years India is also parting in this marketing trend. Numerous retailers and e-shopping sites in India have adopted this Western trend. Ideally, the Black Friday sale is not for e-commerce but in India, this sale is popular on e-commerce sites. In India, the e-commerce companies like Nykaa, Myntra, and Flipkart, are providing massive discounts to spike the shopping spree. Discounts on skin-care products, cosmetics, elections, essentials, and clothing are attracting shoppers of all kinds.

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The sale in India continues for a few days.

Written By

Abira Dutta is an Entertainment content writing intern at Empire Weekly. She was born and brought up in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. She has completed her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Calcutta and wants to establish her career as a content writer. Writing has always been her passion. She loves to write down the different aspects of life that she comprehends. Something that her love for books, cinema, and photography, made her skillful. She believes that every time she writes something, she learns something. And learning should be a never-ending process. She is a hard-working individual with a keen sense of professionalism.

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