The day after Thanksgiving, or the last Friday of November, is celebrated nearly all over the world as Black Friday, the day that marks the first day of Christmas shopping. Over the years, with the arrival of new technologies, sales have been extended to Monday, known as Cyber Monday when discounts are offered for online shoppers.
More than just sales
Although it may seem that the name came from a tragic event in U.S. history, its origin is actually a bit less sensational. It dates back to Philadelphia, when in 1961 the police monitoring the traffic used the expression to describe the pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the streets the day after Thanksgiving. Over the years, an alternative explanation emerged which says the term “black” refers to the stores’ accounts going from being “in the red” to being “in the black”.
Even though it refers to two specific days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts last over a week. That’s why special sales have been available for several days now on sites like Amazon, which even has a section dedicated to flash sales that are only available for one day.
The U.S. National Retail Federation expects sales to reach $655 billion thanks to the discounts offered during the holidays
Billions in discounts
Every year nearly half a million people in the U.S. apply for a loan in stores to be able to do their Black Friday shopping. The U.S. National Retail Federation expects sales to reach $655 billion thanks to the discounts offered during the holidays. Furthermore, according to a survey by Fluent, nearly half of online U.S. consumers intend to make purchases and Friday will be the day with the largest sales volume.
According to RetailMeNot.es’ annual study on Christmas online shopping, the U.K. tops the ranking of European countries that spend the most during this weekend. This year, the British are expected to spend €3.22 billion in online shopping.
Nearly half a million people in the U.S. apply for a loan in stores to be able to do their Black Friday shopping
In Spain, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaign will generate €1.27 billion in online sales, 13.12% more than 2015, according to a report by the Spanish Digital Economy Association (Adigital).
eBay expects Spaniards to spend an average of €248 per person during the Christmas season, which would set an all-time high, exceeding 2011 figures. A TNS survey for eBay found that 67 % of Internet users will do their Christmas shopping online, and 38 % of online shoppers will use a mobile device.
81 % of companies in Spain will offer special sales for Black Friday. Clothing stores are predicting a 10 % to 15 % increase in sales, according to the textile association, Acotex.
“El Buen Fin”
But Black Friday doesn’t take place everywhere. That’s why Mexico has “El Buen Fin” when special discounts are offered the weekend prior to Mexican Revolution Day. This year, “El Buen Fin” surpassed businesses’ expectations after Donald Trump’s victory. According to the National Confederation of Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism (Concanaco), sales this weekend were 5% higher than expected.
Some Latin American countries that do celebrate Black Friday and Cyber Monday include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru (where 2015 Cyber Monday sales reached nearly $18 million according to the Lima Chamber of Commerce), Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, El Salvador, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Panama.