I live in South-Africa and Black Friday has only become a craze in the last two years. And also not as big as it is in the USA. We have some local stores that try and take advantage of the holiday, and in the past two to three years sales have gone up by about 200%. Malls all over the country is gearing themselves up for the day that will happen after the Thanksgiving holiday, here by us its 25-27 Nov.
Stores have extended their trading hours and have discounts available up to 80%! Stores have even beefed up their security protocols.
But what is Black Friday, and who decided that this day would be marked by ridiculous discounts and people basically losing their minds, buying things like crazy for the fear that they won’t get it for that price, ever again!
Black Friday originated in America. It is a holiday that presents itself the day after thanks giving and also marks the official opening of the holiday shopping season and the start of the Christmas creep.
“Christmas creep is a merchandising phenomenon in which merchants and retailers exploit the commercialized status of Christmas by introducing Christmas-themed merchandise or decorations before the traditional start of the season, the term was first used in the mid-1980s.”
It’s not an official holiday, but most companies excluding retail give their employees the day off. Most schools also close, this increases the number of consumers that can take part in the holiday, making the craze even bigger.
In 2014, spending volume on Black Friday fell for the first time since the 2008 recession. $50.9 billion was spent during the 4-day Black Friday weekend, down 11% from the previous year. However, the U.S. economy was not in a recession. The beginning of Christmas creep has been said to be a contributing factor to the promotion of Black Friday, many Stores now prolong their promotions over November and December rather than restricting it to the single day or weekend.
But why is it called Black Friday? Many sites have different conclusion but it seems there are two main origins:
1. The streets would become so crowded with pedestrian and vehicle traffic that the employees running all the public services, such as bus drivers and police officers dubbed the day Black Friday to refer to the chaos and bleak-ness of the day. This usage dates to at least 1961.
2. Another popular reason that is known is that this day represented the point in the year when retailers begin to show a profit, going from being “in the red” to being “in the black”
Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an official national holiday during the Civil War, establishing it as the final Thursday in November .The holiday lasted for about 70 years and in 1939, the last Thursday in November fell on the 30th for the second time in multiple years. This caused the Christmas shopping season to be shorter and retailers approached President Franklin D. Roosevelt and asked him to change the date.
Even though retailers wanted a holiday shopping season to be longer than 24 days before Christmas, Nobody wanted to break the tradition of waiting until after Thanksgiving to advertise their reduced prices. The President (Franklin D. Roosevelt), in an attempt to end the country’s depression by getting people to spend more money, changed the date of the holiday. On December 26, 1941, Congress passed a law setting the fourth Thursday in November as the official date of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Stores try to take advantage of this weekend and some stay open almost 24hours. Black Friday has been known to incite violence between consumers, putting people on edge. Consumers camp out in front of stores in order to get the best deals first.
The first death caused by the craze of Black-Friday-Craziness was recorded in 2008 in New York at a Walmart. An employee was actually stamped to death. Consumers refused to stop their rush to get their hands on products that fellow employees couldn’t help the person, even police could not better the situation as consumers were completely out of control, unfortunately resulting in the death.
There are however consumers that prefer to do all their shopping online. Internet sites crash from all the consumers trying to get the best deals. This however sound a little safer to me, I wouldn’t want to be caught in some sort of stampede.
Consumers who aren’t careful can quickly find themselves in trouble. There has been incidents of fights, stabbings, and consumers pulling actual guns on each other! Here is a link from moneycrashers.com on Safe shopping on Black Friday , Maybe have a read and just be careful, people are crazy when it comes to money!
I will have to see what happens this year with Black Friday in South-Africa. Some of the deals look pretty awesome, but luckily I don’t have a credit card, yes luckily! Because that could end really badly. Lol, all my family members would get the best Christmas presents though!