Facts on the History of Black Friday
Black Friday is an American tradition gaining more followership in Europe. It is a day when most stores offer big discounts on their products. Given that Oslo is an expensive city to live, it is definitely enticing to know that there is an opportunity to buy what we need and want at a less expensive price. Technically speaking, this is my third time in Norway when I got to know the concept behind Black Friday, but it is only this year I was able to appreciate this annual event. This has led me to be curious on how this Western tradition has evolved through the time. This is the focus of this blogpost.
Firstly, there is an economic assumption that Black Friday marks the time when business establishments start to gain profits after several months on the red due to investments and recurring business-related expenses. It has been presumed that the accounting books have shifted from red deficits to black gains. Perhaps, this could explain why stores cold just sort of give away their merchandise at a lower price because what they gain forms primarily part of their profits. Selling the products is most important rather than wait for their quality to deteriorate at their possession.
Moreover, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. In Norway, Thanksgiving is not particularly important but instead Black Friday is seen as a jumpstart of the Advent season, given it is the Friday before the first Sunday of Advent. That itself is an important mark in the Christian world. Although for some, Black Friday occurs during the weekend when almost all employees have received their salaries for the whole month and to add in Norway, Black Friday happens during a time when people have more money that usual because most taxpayers are deducted only half of their usual monthly obligations. Therefore, the more money the consumers have, the more reasons for people to buy more, increasing the profits of the participating business enterprises.
The previous paragraph explains why people seems to be extra-motivated to buy during Black Friday. This motivation even leads to stampedes, which causes injuries to the shoppers. This leads us to the historical basis of Black Friday in Philadelphia, where Black Friday connotes a period after Thanksgiving when many people crowd the city centrum for a traditional annual football match. Due to the said event, police would need to work longer hours just to maintain safety and order because the event also results petty crimes and violent behavior among the flock of individuals. Therefore, it seems then the behavior today although associated with buying has a resemblance with the improper behaviour of visitors in Philadelphia during Black Friday.
Furthermore, there were also myths that Black Friday reminds us the slave trade in United States before it has banned. This has been debunked since it has no historical evidence for such claims. In addition, Black Friday serves as historical reminder in Wall Street when stock prices fell drastically after a scandal involving intentional manipulation of gold prices has been revealed. These negative linkages of Black Friday have also several versions in other parts of the world, particularly because black and Friday in some culture maybe associated with sorrow and unexpected mishaps. Although this cultural beliefs seem to have no logical explanation, some individuals believe on this even in the modern times.
Lastly, Black Friday is just like any other day when people have the opportunity to be better. Perhaps nowadays, this day has a connection with economics but what is more important is the deeper meaning of any day, whether Black Friday or not. That is, a time to better as a person and be with other person. Through shopping perhaps, we could show our appreciation to other and realize the value we deserve for ourselves but shopping must not hinder us from going beyond. Thus, there are more ways other than shopping to achieve these daily life goals.