The largest shopping event of the year is almost upon us. Consumers are gearing up for shopping and splurging on anything, from electronics to fashion apparel.
But why is it called “Black Friday”? How did it get its name?
Most people aren’t familiar with the real story of Black Friday. The popular belief is that Black Friday is the first day after the US Thanksgiving holiday when retail stores and shopping websites lure consumers by offering hot deals and exclusive discounts.
Well, this is the Black Friday reality now, but the origins of the term “Black Friday” date back to 1869.
It all began in the USA, on 24 September 1869 when two Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, drove up the price of gold by buying as much gold as they could and crashed the stock market. This caused huge losses for Wall Street traders and US farmers and the day became known as “Black Friday”.
The modern term was first recorded in Philadelphia in the 1960s. It indeed referred to the day after Thanksgiving, but it wasn’t related to big sales and deals. In fact, the day got the name “Black Friday” because Philadelphia police dreaded it since the city was flooded with shoppers and visitors attending the annual Army-Navy American football match. It was the perfect time for shoplifters to go outside and take advantage of the crowds.
There were hundreds of people overcrowding the streets and the traffic was so terrible, that the police officers had to work long shifts to prevent chaos and incidents.
Back then, the phrase was widely used by police in newspapers in an attempt to ward off the crowds and encourage Philadelphia citizens to stay at home. Even though the term became quite popular in Philadelphia, it didn’t spread across the USA until the 1980s.
In the 1980s, retailers turned the meaning upside down and the day famous for horrible traffic jams and thieves became the most popular shopping day ever.
Over the years, Black Friday has quickly grown in popularity and spread all over the world. The concept was first brought over to the UK in 2010 when Amazon promoted a range of discounts and deals to consumers – and the British were hooked.
Today, the hype around Black Friday is massive – undoubtedly, it’s the most favourite day of all for shoppers and the most profitable one for retailers. If you’re also joining the Black Friday marathon, check out our tips on how to get the best deals.