We write business plans for US and Canadian immigration, and help entrepreneurs grow and raise capital.

people shopping

The History of Black Friday

Black Friday is one of the most important days of the year for small business owners in the United States.

The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday and marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, which falls on November 25 this year.

In addition to the start of holiday shopping, Black Friday is notorious for heavy, often very limited-time sales discounts and promotions that drive consumer traffic to retailers.

So, how did the biggest sales event of the year, otherwise known as Black Friday, come to be?

Where does “Black Friday” come from?

Perhaps surprisingly, Black Friday, in its current form, has only emerged in the last half-century. However, the term “Black Friday” was first used in 1869. Investors Jay Gould and Jim Fisk used the phrase about a market crash that drove up the price of gold while dropping the value of corn and wheat.[1]

The term “Black Friday” would not catch on again until the late 1950s and early 1960s, when people in Philadelphia used it for the day between Thanksgiving and the Army-Navy football game. That Friday was famous for the crowds of tourists and shoppers that necessitated extra law enforcement for traffic control.

Still, only in the late 1980s did “Black Friday” become synonymous with shopping. Then, retailers adjusted the phrase to reflect that stores turned a profit on this shopping holiday, and accountants used black ink to signal a profit. Conversely, at the time, accountants used red for negative earnings.

Since that time, Black Friday has been a shopping holiday. It has been supplemented with Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday to create a multi-day launch to the shopping season with many heavy discounts and promotions.

What does Black Friday mean to America’s economy?

As one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday takes on an important place when it comes to the American economy.

It is a day when a great deal of money changes hands and circulates throughout the economy. A record $9 billion was spent on Black Friday in 2020, even during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.[2]

Additionally, some economists view Black Friday as a day to gauge the nation’s economic health. Sales results from the day indicate the level of discretionary spending done for that year.

For large and small businesses, Black Friday is also a golden opportunity to enjoy a profitable day that can add a boost to an already strong year or makeup ground if the company’s performance has been below expectations.

Black Friday continues to evolve

Since emerging in its current form in the 1980s, Black Friday has, and continues to evolve. As a result, business owners and consumers need to understand that Black Friday is no longer a stand-alone, single-day event to capitalize on customers coming into a store.

Instead, technology has expanded the idea of Black Friday to include online shopping, with sales and promotions beginning well before Thanksgiving. So while Black Friday and Cyber Monday are unofficial sales holidays on the calendar, the reach is no longer confined by time and physical location.

Visa Business Plans helps small businesses navigate the holiday season

Here at Visa Business Plans, our experienced team has helped thousands of business owners develop winning strategies throughout the year, including planning for the new year.

So, if you want to learn more about how your business can benefit from our services, call us today!

Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in 4 different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.

Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, and high-growth enterprises.

At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and investors with business planning services in the areas of U.S. and Canadian immigration, SBA loans, and others.

[1] https://www.businessinsider.com/guides/deals/why-is-it-called-black-friday

[2] https://abcnews.go.com/Business/black-friday-hits-record-report/story?id=74435965