For the shopaholics, it is always about finding the best deals on the upcoming Black Friday sale and flaunting their buys to the people around. Black Friday sale is usually celebrated immediately after the day of Thanksgiving in November.
But have you ever tried to look into the history of such a weirdly unique culture and thought of finding the details related? If not! Then it’s now time to take a look.
When Is Black Friday?
The much-celebrated Black Friday sale dates back to 3rd October 1789, with President George Washington naming 26th November Thursday as the official holiday for “sincere thanks.’ And after 74 years, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in the USA. Black Friday is the immediate day after Thanksgiving, usually on the fourth Thursday of November.
History Behind The Black Friday Sale
Black Friday sales in the recent past have been making buyers all excited. Also, you will find big brands trying to launch new products around this time of the year. But this was not the scenario initially, and it took multiple twists and turns for the event to be this important.
Black Friday & USA’s Financial Crisis
A financial crisis in USA’s Gold market on 24th September 1869 made the world come to terms with “Black Friday.” The minds behind it were two notoriously ruthless financiers from Wall Street – Jim Fisk and Jay Gould. The plan was to work together and buy out as much of the nation’s gold as possible. They hoped to drive the price to a sky-high amount and then sell it for huge profits. And finally, these two men accomplished such a conspiracy, sending the entire stock market to free fall and major businesses into bankruptcy.
Black Friday Sale & The Shopping Culture
Another story of the Black Friday sale revolves around the culture of shopping around Thanksgiving. After a full year of running in loss, retailers would finally earn a profit on the day after Thanksgiving because shoppers during this time used to blow up a massive amount of money on discounted merchandise. Retailers recorded their losses in red and profits in black at that time. And because the immediate Friday after Thanksgiving helped them earn a significant profit, they came up with the term Black Friday.
Black Friday & The Slave Culture In Southern Plantation
In 2013, the internet introduced its daily readers to another theory behind the Black Friday sale. Claiming that the term has connections with slaves getting bought and sold by the owners of Southern plantations back in 1800. And that the prices of the enslaved workers were made available at a discounted rate on Friday just after Thanksgiving. However, this version has no concrete evidence, creating havoc among the buyers. Some even did boycott the much-awaited sales, calling it inhumane to celebrate.
Philadelphia’s Theory of Big Friday
The Black Friday sales we celebrate now were officially recorded by the Philadelphia police in 1960 while describing the huge chaos created by the general public on the day after Thanksgiving. The story goes like this – a horde of suburban tourists and shoppers flooded the city markets before the Army-Navy football game organized on the Saturday after Thanksgiving every year. The cops faced a lot of difficulties monitoring the chaotic crowd, who were over-enthusiastic about the best Black Friday deals.
Not only were the police unable to take a day off, but had to work extra hours, completing long day shifts. Also, shoplifters during this time took advantage of the chaotic situation, causing headaches for law enforcement.
The Black Friday Sale – Modern Scenario
With time the shopkeepers realized the immense business opportunity behind the Black Friday sale and started drawing crowds at discounted prices. From 1990 onwards, buyers started putting camps outside the stores anticipating great deals on their favorite goods and items.
At present, everything is online, and big brands prefer sending push notifications and emails to their loyal patrons days before the actual date of the sale.
In 2022 the most sold item in the Black Friday Sale was toys. The list goes as
- Pokémon cards
- Disney Encanto
- Hot Wheels
- LOL Surprise dolls
Also, as per reports, Black Friday and Cyber Monday of 2022 broke all-surpassing sales records. Where shoppers spent 9.12 and 11.3 billion USD, respectively, while inflation kept the price points high, the discounts were up by multiple folds. Adobe Analytics reports show that discounts on electronic goods peaked at 25% in 2022, compared to only 8% off in 2021.