Black Friday has become one of the most popular consumer events of the year, and you might be surprised to know it’s been around for a long time. So we thought the best way to understand it was to look at these distant origins. That’s precisely why we had a chat with the Retail Doctor, Bob Phibbs.
Bob Phibbs revealed to Betway that “the streets and department stores of downtown Philadelphia were mobbed” on its very own Black Friday during the 1960s. Now, this Black Friday wasn’t a retail event like it is now. Instead, it was a term coined to describe the busiest day in the city each year.
So many people would enter the shops of Philadelphia to buy products on that Friday that it often turned around the fortunes of those shops. Where before they had net losses, they soon transformed them into profits.
But nowadays, the gains that shop owners make can carry on right the way through to December, making Black Friday the starting point of a very lucrative time in retail. As Phibbs notes, “the entire period from Black Friday through to December can actually be a time that erases all losses from the previous three quarters.”
That phenomenon has actually carried on since the 1980s, so that marks the decade where Black Friday really came into its own.
But in recent years, the establishment of big businesses and the widening reach of the Internet has turned Black Friday into an even more significant event. It now spans a whole weekend during most years, and that’s because Black Friday deals tend to last for a few days so that as many people take advantage as possible.
As Phibbs says, Black Friday now features “the biggest of the big” companies, and these companies typically launch their offers months in advance, just to build up anticipation and excitement. For example, “The Walmarts and even Amazons launched their Black Friday deals back in October.”
That’s where Cyber Monday comes in. People often lacked time to visit shops, so they’d go on computers at work and place orders there. Monday became a typical day to do this, and eventually, it grew into Cyber Monday, which takes place the Monday after Black Friday. Phibbs helps clarify the difference, saying, “There used to be Cyber Monday that was a big deal before we had apps and people had Internet in their homes.”
That brings us all the way to the present, and you now know the history of Black Friday.
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