Black Friday is approaching, a date that has become a tradition, not only in the United States but also in many parts of the world. Everyone knows Black Friday as the big shopping day. In Spain, the event was popularised by the company MediaMarkt in 2012, with its juicy offers. A year later, El Corte Inglés and Amazon would adopt the same practice, almost a decade after Walmart and Sears had done the same thing for the first time in the United States.
But why do we talk about “Black Friday” when discounts are something we should be celebrating? Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? We have to go back to 1975, when The New York Times used the term Black Friday to refer to the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, when thousands of shoppers crammed the streets and shops to begin their Christmas shopping. This was not the first time Black Friday appeared in the newspapers. In the mid 1950s, the Telegraph newspaper used this combination of words to describe the flood of people who descended on the city of Philadelphia on the day after Thanksgiving, due to the convergence of people attending a football game with the horde of shoppers who had also gathered.
Shopkeepers began to use this term to refer to the large influx of consumers at this time of year. Since then, the fourth Friday in November officially marks the start of the Christmas shopping season and shops offer incredible discounts and promotions that trigger a real consumer fever. Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain… Each country celebrates its own version of Black Friday.
And there’s more. Black Friday has developed its own cyber version: Cyber Monday, which takes place on the following Monday and is dedicated to online shopping, with special discounts on mainly electronic and technology products.
Tourism joins Black Friday
Black Friday euphoria has also reached the tourism industry. Accommodation and airlines offer discounts of around 10 %. In addition to clothing and footwear, toys and electronics, there are also experiences. Because Christmas is also the perfect time to treat ourselves to a getaway; a wisp of pleasure.