Black Friday is almost here. It is the time of year when we are all keen to find the very best bargains. Many have developed the habit of holding off with any spending until Black Friday arrives. That probably accounts for the fact that some $58 billion was spent during Black Friday in 2020.

Many may be aware that this shopping phenomenon originated in the USA. As the event gained traction, it wasn’t long until Black Friday was a term known the world over. If you’ve ever wondered just how it all got going, and why we have America to thank, then we’re here to help.

The birth of the term Black Friday

The term Black Friday was first used back in the 1960s in Philadelphia. At that time it was a term used to describe what was the busiest shopping and traffic day in the city. During an interview with Betway Casino, the retail doctor Bob Phibbs states “The streets and department stores of downtown Philadelphia were mobbed.”

The birth of the term Black Friday

Whereas the term Black Friday now refers to the last time that bank accounts are in the black before Christmas, it is claimed the phrase was actually coined by the police officers in Philadelphia. It was all about the day that came after Thanksgiving but before a game between the Army and Navy. It saw the city reach its busiest and the police having to work extremely long hours.

How Black Friday evolved

It was throughout the 60s and 70s that the term had no real meaning outside of Philadelphia. It was sometime later that people began to associate it with shopping patterns and it wasn’t until the 1980s that the term was used in the way that we are now familiar with. With racial tensions in the US, there were strong objections to the term ‘Black Friday’ and there were attempts to change this to ‘Big Friday’. As history shows, this never really took off.

The term black became a reference to the state of retailer’s books. It was the case that they may have been in the red and trading at a loss for the whole year, but this Friday would boost their profits and put them back in the black. As Phibbs says “It was the day retailers moved from reading losses to black ink profits,”.

How Black Friday looks now

Black Friday looks a little different to how it did in the early days. For starters, it is now an international phenomenon with bargain hunters around the world looking for the very best in deals. Secondly, Black Friday is no longer just a day. It has come to represent a whole shopping period that runs up to Christmas.

While many shoppers may still enjoy all that bricks and mortar shops have to offer at this time of year, many now opt to make Black Friday all about online retailers. The fact that we can now enjoy all that Black Friday has to offer from our keyboards means that we have the chance to find even more deals.