Seen as the biggest Christmas shopping event of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost here! With the deals already begun and news stories surrounding the day everywhere, it’s difficult to ignore if you work in retail or eCommerce, or even just love shopping. The largest shopping occasion of the year is almost upon us – but did you know some of these lesser-known facts about what is arguably the world’s busiest retail day?

1. The day is dubbed Black Friday because of two reasons: As retailers go from being “in the red”, to getting back “into the black” for the first time all year, they finally start to make a profit as the holiday season kicks off – this is how a lot of people agree the name originated. However, some people say that the origin of the name started earlier than this from when it was first mentioned in an ad in ‘The American Philatelist’ where the police used the term to describe the name given to the day’s traffic jams and crowded shops as people skipped work and it became a public holiday in the U.S.

2. More people have died shopping than in shark attacks in the U.S. Yes, you read that correctly! According to National Geographic, there are an average of 16 shark attacks in the U.S. every year, with a fatal shark attack every 2 years. This website records the amount of Black Friday related injuries and fatalities (solely in the U.S.) as shoppers go about their Black Friday shopping and it claims there have been 10 deaths in Black Friday-related shopping events in the U.S. since 2008. It is often reported that arguments and stampedes have occurred as a result of discounted products being on offer for such a short space of time, which has often begged the question of whether the discounts have gone too far?

3. It’s not just Friday anymore! This may be well-known to some, but Black Friday now spans the entire weekend, with some retailers extending promotions up to a week or even two weeks surrounding both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is a bigger deal in the U.S., where opening stores on Thanksgiving to make more sales has been a discussion point over the last few years and is considered unnecessary by some, as the holiday is second only to Christmas in the country. 

4. Some stores don’t participate at all. This might come as a shock, as retailers will miss out on profits and money! The event is seen as such a key shopping and money-making event during the year that some stores could argue others are missing out on a huge opportunity. However, these stores have argued that their workers need a break around Thanksgiving and are refusing to open on Thursday or Black Friday in order to try and change the holiday and to give their employees a much-needed day off. Big-name retailers such as Barnes & Noble and Costco in the U.S. are closing over this time, whereas huge department store Selfridges in the U.K. didn’t partake in the typical “Black Friday” deals last year.

5. Online is dominating! As you may be aware, eCommerce is getting bigger each year and online retailers such as Amazon are capitalising on the popularity of shoppers wanting to stay inside and not partake in the shopping experience of stores. The BBC reported after last year’s event that online sales had risen by 12% on the year before, with £1.23bn being spent online on that day alone! When including the whole week, online sales rose to an estimated £6.5bn, which proves that eCommerce is a huge slice of the Black Friday pie.

If you need any advice on prepping for the largest shopping day of the year, read our previous blog post revealing our top tips for the discount weekend! Just need help with your digital marketing strategy? Get in touch today!


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