Where did Black Friday originate and how did it get its name?

29 November 2019, 08:11 | Updated: 29 November 2019, 08:13

Where did Black Friday get its name from? (stock images)
Where did Black Friday get its name from? (stock images). Picture: Getty

The origins of US discount day Black Friday - everything you need to know about its name and meaning.

Black Friday, the name to denote a time when a number of UK high street and online stores will be offering huge discounts on their products, is back on 29 November.

Read more: Black Friday 2019: Best clothing and fashion deals on the high street from ASOS to Topshop and Marks & Spencer

It started in the US, but has now spread out across the world, and takes place each year on the Friday and following weekend after Thanksgiving. Here's everything you need to know.

Black Friday starts today (29 November)
Black Friday starts today (29 November). Picture: Getty

Where does Black Friday's name come from?

The name 'Black Friday' was actually first associated with the financial crisis, rather than a sales day.

It has its origins all the way back in 1869, when two Wall Street financiers - Jim Fisk and Jay Gould - bought a significant amount of US gold in the hope that its value would go up.

However, the gold market then crashed and their actions left Wall Street barons bankrupt - and this day was called 'Black Friday'.

The name later became associated with the discount day we now know as Black Friday.

How did Black Friday become associated with thanksgiving?

When US shops recorded their incomings, red indicated losses while black meant profits. Many of these shops went 'into the black' after Thanksgiving - as shoppers traditionally spent lots of money at this time.

It is thought that police in Philadelphia officially coined the term Black Friday in reference to that specific day, and Macy's in New York was the first shop to officially advertise a post-Thanksgiving sale.

When did Black Friday arrive in the UK and which shops take part?

Black Friday originated in the US in the 20th Century
Black Friday originated in the US in the 20th Century. Picture: Getty

Amazon was the first retailer to introduce Black Friday into the UK back in 2010. And in 2013, Asda became the first UK supermarket to offer deals.

Read more: Black Friday 2019: The best deals in the UK from Tesco, Curry’s, ASOS, Amazon and more

Now, it is commonplace for UK retailers to get involved - with everyone from Currys PC World to Topshop offering sales.

£1.49 billion was spent on UK retail sites on Black Friday 2018, according to IMRG.

Which UK retailers don't take part in Black Friday?

Although most major high street stores have got into the Black Friday spirit, there are some notable exceptions - IKEA and Marks and Spencer are two major UK retailers that choose not to get involved.


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