Black Friday: Origins, Evolution, and Impact

Black Friday, a term that evokes images of bustling stores, discounted prices, and eager shoppers, has become an integral part of the post-Thanksgiving landscape in the United States and, more recently, around the world. But how did this shopping phenomenon begin, and what are its origins? Let’s delve into the history and significance of Black Friday.

Origins of Black Friday

The term “Black Friday” was originally not associated with shopping at all. In the 1960s, Philadelphia police used it to describe the heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic that occurred the day after Thanksgiving. The name stuck, but its connotation shifted from traffic woes to shopping bliss.

Some also believe the term refers to retailers moving from “red” to “black” in their accounting books, indicating a profit. However, this explanation came later and is more of a popular myth than a factual origin.

The Evolution of Black Friday

Over the decades, Black Friday transformed from a busy shopping day into a cultural phenomenon. Retailers began offering significant discounts, leading to increased consumer participation. This day unofficially marked the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

In the 21st century, with the rise of e-commerce, Black Friday deals started appearing online, leading to the birth of “Cyber Monday” – a day dedicated to online shopping deals.

Black Friday Goes Global

While Black Friday originated in the U.S., its popularity has spread globally. Countries like Canada, the UK, Australia, and even parts of Asia and Africa now observe this shopping holiday, each adding its unique twist.

The Impact of Black Friday

Economic Boost: Black Friday provides a significant boost to the economy. Retailers often report a substantial portion of their annual sales coming from this single day.
Consumer Behavior: The allure of deals has changed consumer behavior, with many waiting for Black Friday to make significant purchases.
Retailer Strategy: The day has influenced retailer strategies, with many offering “Black Friday” deals weeks in advance or extending sales throughout the weekend.

12 Years Comparison Before and After Black Friday In Information Technology Market

here’s a generic comparison table based on general knowledge and trends observed in the Information Technology market before and after Black Friday from 2011 to 2022:

YearBefore Black FridayAfter Black Friday
2011Stable sales, regular promotionsSignificant spike due to Black Friday deals, introduction of more tech gadgets and devices for the holiday season
2012Anticipation for new tech releases, steady salesIncreased sales due to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, growth in e-commerce
2013Rise in online shopping, consistent salesSurge in sales, especially in electronics and tech gadgets
2014Focus on mobile devices and wearables, steady salesBlack Friday sales breaking previous records, increased emphasis on online deals
2015Growth in smart home devices, consistent salesThe surge in sales of 5G-enabled devices and related services
2016Emphasis on cloud services and subscriptions, steady salesRecord-breaking online sales, shift towards more online shopping than in-store
2017Rise of AI and IoT devices, steady salesSignificant sales growth, especially in AI-powered devices and services
2018Focus on data security and privacy, consistent salesIncreased sales in security software and hardware, along with traditional tech devices
2019Emphasis on 5G technology and devices, steady salesExpected growth in sales of AR/VR devices and related services post-Black Friday
2020The impact of COVID-19 increased reliance on tech for remote work and entertainment, higher salesBlack Friday sales are predominantly online, with significant growth in software and services
2021Continued emphasis on remote work tools, steady salesGrowth in sales of productivity tools, software, and high-end tech devices
2022Focus on AR/VR and metaverse-related tech, consistent salesExpected growth in sales of AR/VR devices and related services post Black Friday

Please note that this table provides a general overview based on observed trends and does not contain specific sales figures or percentages. The actual impact of Black Friday on the IT market can vary based on various factors, including economic conditions, technological advancements, and consumer behavior.

There are several other facets of Black Friday that can be discussed. Here are some additional aspects related to Black Friday:

Safety Concerns: Over the years, there have been reports of accidents, injuries, and even fatalities due to the rush and chaos of in-store Black Friday shopping. This has led to increased security measures and crowd management strategies by retailers.

Extended Sales Period: Instead of limiting sales to just one day, many retailers now offer deals throughout the entire week of Black Friday, sometimes even starting at the beginning of November. This is often referred to as “Black Friday Week” or “Cyber Week.”

Environmental Impact: The surge in consumption during Black Friday has raised concerns about its environmental impact, particularly in terms of waste generation, the carbon footprint from increased deliveries, and the culture of disposable consumerism.

Ethical Shopping: In response to the consumerism of Black Friday, movements like “Buy Nothing Day” or “Green Friday” have emerged, encouraging people to either refrain from shopping or to make sustainable and ethical purchasing decisions.

Global Spread: While Black Friday originated in the U.S., its popularity has spread to other countries, each with its unique cultural adaptations. In some places, it’s embraced fully, while in others, it’s met with resistance or skepticism.

Impact on Small Businesses: While big retailers often see the most significant sales spikes, Black Friday can also be crucial for small businesses. The “Small Business Saturday” initiative, which falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, encourages consumers to shop local and support small businesses.

Returns and Exchanges: The period after Black Friday often sees a spike in returns and exchanges, as consumers change their minds or find better deals elsewhere.

Shift to Online Shopping: Especially in recent years, and further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a significant shift from in-store Black Friday shopping to online shopping, leading to events like Cyber Monday gaining more prominence.

Economic Indicators: Black Friday sales are often used as an indicator of the economy’s health and consumer confidence. Strong sales can suggest consumer optimism, while weak sales might indicate economic concerns.

Marketing Strategies: Black Friday has led to innovative marketing campaigns, with retailers using various strategies, from “doorbusters” to limited-time flash sales, to attract consumers.

Including these aspects can provide a more comprehensive understanding of Black Friday’s impact and significance in the retail and broader socio-economic landscape.


Black Friday, with its deep-rooted history and global appeal, remains a testament to the power of commerce and consumerism. As shoppers and retailers gear up for this annual event, it’s fascinating to reflect on its origins and the indelible mark it has left on the retail landscape.