Since 1932, Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (the 4th Thursday of November). it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S., and most major retailers open very early (and more recently during overnight hours) and offer promotional sales.
In 2014, during 4-day Black Friday weekend, $50.9 billion was spent.
Retailers create hype to attract surprise discounts and grab attention of more buyers. Retailers open at 6:00 a.m. or sometimes 5:00 or 4:00 or even midnight to promote offers and increase sales.
Main Stores: Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, Bealls, JCPenny, Radio Shack, Belk, Sears compete for boosting their shares during this holiday season with all promos.
Black Friday is a shopping day for a combination of reasons. As the first day after the last major holiday before Christmas, it marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Additionally, many employers give their employees the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In order to take advantage of this, virtually all retailers in the country, big and small, offer various sales including limited amounts of special items to entice traffic.
Canadians travel to US for shopping due their strong dollar. Several major Canadian retailers ran Black Friday deals of their own to discourage shoppers from leaving Canada.
Before the advent of Black Friday in Canada, the most comparable holiday was Boxing Day in terms of retailer impact and consumerism. Black Fridays in the US seem to provide deeper or more extreme price cuts than Canadian retailers, even for the same international retailer.
Black Friday originated within the Police and NHS to refer to the Friday before Christmas. It is the day where those services activated contingency to deal with the anticipated extra pressures put on the emergency services inherent in the larger than normal volumes of people going out drinking on the final Friday before Christmas.
UK-based retailers adopted the Black Friday marketing scheme than ever. Among them were ao.com, very.co.uk, John Lewis and Argos
Growing number of e-commerce websites/ retailers in India are trying to emulate the concept of shopping festivals from the United States like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal have been offering discounted products on the major festivals in India. December witnesses the Great Online Shopping Festival (also called GOSF) for 3 days where people shop from all the major e-commerce players and large FMCG brands. From 2015, google has now stopped the GOSF.
Origin of the term
Black refers to bunking offices to have unofficial holiday on the day following Thanksgiving day to enjoy 4 day long weekend. Black Friday causally got its name like that.
The day after Thanksgiving as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season may be linked together with the idea of Santa Claus parades. Parades celebrating Thanksgiving often include an appearance by Santa at the end of the parade, with the idea that ‘Santa has arrived’ or ‘Santa is just around the corner’ because Christmas is always the next major holiday following Thanksgiving.
The term Cyber Monday, a neologism invented in 2005 by the National Retail Federation’s division Shop.org, refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday based on a trend that retailers began to recognize in 2003 and 2004. Retailers noticed that many consumers, who were too busy to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend or did not find what they were looking for, shopped for bargains online that Monday from home or work.