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The History of Black November



Black Friday is a famous sales weekend that evolved from the Thanksgiving day just after summer. Usually, a significant number of individuals get to purchase items placed on the best deals and at extremely affordable prices. Many retailers and businesses overtime, like the popular Amazon, Konga, Jumia and other e-commerce websites put a cut to their prices over a range of products to allow users to purchase them.
Black November by Nelson Vincent


The term "Black Friday" was first associated with financial crisis and not sales shopping. By history, two Wall Street financiers Jim Fisk and Jay Gould, together bought a significant amount of US gold in the hope of the overall price soaring and in turn being able to sell it for huge profits. On Friday, September 24, 1869, in what became referred to as "Black Friday", the US gold market crashed and their actions left Wall Street barons bankrupt.  It was not until later years that the post -Thanksgiving period became associated with the name.


Also, when shops in the US recorded their accounting details by hand, they noted profits in black and losses in red. It is believed that many shops had their accounts read "red" throughout most of the year but they later "went into black" the day after Thanksgiving, when people bought a large amount of discounted goods and products. In more recent years, an inaccurate rumour circulated, suggesting that Southern plantation owners could buy slaves at a discounted price following Thanksgiving in the 1800s.


Police officers in Philadelphia were first to link Black Friday to the post-Thanksgiving period in the 1950s. Many tourists and buyers came to the city after Thanksgiving for the Army-Navy football game, thus creating chaos, traffic jams and shoplifting opportunities. The Police officers in the city were not able to take the day off work and had to work long shifts to control the traffic of people. As such, they used the term "Black Friday" to refer to it. The name soon spread throughout Philadelphia but some city's merchants and boosters disliked the negative connotations and unsuccessfully tried to change it to "Big Friday".

Black Friday later became known in print, after an advertisement was published in The American Philatelist magazine in 1966. By the late 1980s, the term was commonly known across the nation and retailers soon linked it to their post-Thanksgiving sales.


Black Friday today is recognised world over as the biggest shopping event of the year, when many shops cut their prices on a range of products, in order to boost profits and officially kick off the festive season.  Retailers often continue sales throughout the weekend, concluding with online-only offers on Cyber Monday.

By Adobe Analysis, 80 of the top 100 US online retailers, found online spending on Black Friday 2018 at $6.2 billion, with two billion generated from smartphones. Also, in the records of the year 2013, Asda, owned by American retailer Walmart, held its own Black Friday sale which resulted in chaos as customers physically fought for televisions and other gadgets. Following this, Black Friday grew significantly with more retailers choosing to hold sale events.


Black Friday is an important period for many retailers worldwide it is hoprd that offering discounts will boost profits. However, the increase in consumer demand and competition between retailers has led to an overwhelming amount of visitors to online retail sites and chaos in shops. To improve sales and online deliveries, deal with competition and satisfy customers' needs, retailers now choose to run their sales across an extended period, rather than the traditional 24 hours. Many promotions and offers have started in the days building up to Black Friday, a move which has been dubbed "Black Fiveday". Some online retailers nowbstart their sales as early as the first day of November, continuing across the Black Friday weekend, and concluding on Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving which usually falls in December.


© Nelson Vincent.

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