What is the Origin of Black Friday? – Let’s Take a Deeper Look at its Roots

Black Friday, Black Friday Sale, Sale, History

There’s a lot of different types of sale in the world: opening sale, clearance sale, anniversary sale, 3-day sale, and more. But there is one sale event that can top out all of that various kind of “sales” in the world. And that is no other than the famous “Black Friday Sale.”

When we hear the word “Black Friday,” the first thing that goes straight to our mind is “SALE.” It is the time of the year where hundreds and thousands of shopping malls in the world go on the loudest, craziest, and biggest sale ever.

Of course, it is also the time of the year where thousands of people risk their lives from the stampede on every shopping mall to get everything they want on a great discount. People even stand in line hours before the stores are opened, to get the great deals of the year.

And for gamers? The same thing applies, except for the fact that most of our gamer-buddies will choose to make their shopping in the most convenient way – ONLINE.

But, the question is, what is the real story behind this annual crazy sale in the world? So, find your most comfortable seat, take your favorite beverage with you, and join us as we deep dive at the history of the retail bonanza, Black Friday.

Why is it called Black Friday?

According to research, Black Friday is an informal name for the day after the Thanksgiving Day in the US, the fourth Thursday of November, which has been considered as the starting line of the country’s Christmas shopping season since 1952.

However, there are lots of history behind this crazy retail bonanza. First is during the year 1869.

The Collapse of the U.S. gold market

The first evidence that the term “Black Friday” was applied is not on a holiday sale but on a financial crisis: the crash of the U.S. gold market on September 24, 1869.

Two well-known scoundrels, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, worked together in 1868 to buy up as much of the nation’s gold as they could, hoping that the value rises and sell it for astonishing profits.

Credit: Archive Photos/Getty Images

And on that Friday in September, the conspiracy of the two Wall Street’s most ruthless financial masterminds finally unraveled, sending the stock market into free-fall and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers.

Red to Black

Credit: Ashley HomeStore

Next is the most commonly repeated history of the Black Friday myth, which is related to the retailers. “Many retailers report some of their highest profits on Black Friday. The black portion of the name, “Black Friday” relates to businesses recording their losses in red ink and gains in black. This tradition lives on in modern accounting software, hence the name.”

So after an entire year of operating at a loss (“in the red ink”) stores would supposedly gain their profit (“went into black”) on the day after Thanksgiving, for the reason that holiday shoppers spend a huge amount of their hard-earned cash on discounted products. And yes, it is also true that retail companies are using red to record their losses and black for their profits.

Slaves at a discount

Credit: Nubianplanet.com

In recent years, another myth has surfaced that gives a surprisingly ugly twist to the tradition, alleging that back in the 1800s Southern plantation proprietors could get slaves at a discount on the following day of Thanksgiving. Though this version of Black Friday’s history has no evidence.

Black Friday in Philadelphia

Credit: wbur.org

And last is the Black Friday in Philadelphia. Back in the year of 1950s, police officers in the city of Philadelphia used the term Black Friday to describe the chaos that befell on the day after Thanksgiving. During the said day, hordes of heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic flooded into the city to witness the big Army-Navy football game held on that Saturday of each year.

Not only would the cops unable to take their day offs, but they would also have to work overtime to deal with the huge crowds and traffic. Also, shoplifters would also take this opportunity to break into stores, adding an extra headache to the law enforcement.


Since then, the Black Friday history has been forgotten and has turned into an annual retail holiday. The one-day sales bonanza has now spawned into a four-day event or so. Furthermore, according to a report by the National Retail Federation, the number of consumers who shopped over Thanksgiving weekend grew from 151 million (the Year 2015 statistics) to 154 million as of the year 2016.

And in the year 2017, an estimated 164 million people, plan to shop on the largest retail bonanza.

How about this year? Will you be one of the shoppers of the famous Black Friday Sale?


Do not forget to visit us here at Playasia.com as we will be dropping off huge discounts on selected products, of course, none other than for the BLACK FRIDAY SALE!

Get the greatest games from the coolest stuff that can definitely fit perfectly on your collection only here at Playasia. So, stay tuned!

In fact, here are some of the gamers in the community who have experienced Black Friday in our previous years. And you, too, can experience and relive the amazing experience that this sale has to offer!

See you here at Playasia, dear shoppers!

Black Friday, Black Friday Sale, Sale, History

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