Black Friday: What You Need to Know

By: Mike Crooks

It was once the Boxing Day sales or end-of-financial-year sales that were the big retail events in Australia.

Now, Black Friday, and its digital sister Cyber Monday, are quickly becoming the most-anticipated days to pick up a bargain throughout the world. And conveniently, the sale days come a month before Christmas.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the first Friday after the Thanksgiving Day holiday in the US.  This year, that falls on November 24. Unlike Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday was born as a bricks-and-mortar sale event in the US.

It took place on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which is another holiday in many US states (although most Americans reportedly take the day off for a four-day weekend, anyway).

Why is it called Black Friday?

The term “Black Friday” originated in the US in the 1960s to describe the apparent chaos that ensued on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  On that day, people swarmed into American cities to begin their holiday shopping.

(It is a common misconception that the name was coined by shopkeepers who claimed the massive shopping day put them back “in the black”.)

In the US, the day has evolved into a bumper day of big discounts.

Because people were not at work, “retailers began slashing prices on merchandise to draw shoppers into stores, offering discounts on big-ticket items like televisions, electronics and appliances,” marketing professor Barbara Kahn told NBC News.

“Deals had to be worth jumping out of bed and running to the store for, and maybe even waiting in line for a while, too.”

What is Cyber Monday?

As the name suggests, Cyber Monday evolved as an online sale event in the wake of Black Friday (held the following Monday).

While Black Friday also has plenty of online deals, Cyber Monday has become a day solely for sales you can access via a device. It traditionally involved sales of tech and electronic goods, but now people can grab a bargain on nearly anything online.

What can we expect in Australia?

Like in the US, Black Friday is the unofficial beginning of the Christmas/holiday shopping season in Australia. Major retailers like David JonesMyerJB Hi-FiCatchKoganBing LeeBig W and Target are all advertising sales.

Finder has a live deals tracker “with the best sales and biggest discounts we can find, multiple times per day,” read a Finder statement.

Despite the cost-of-living pressures in Australia, Choice magazine reports that consulting company Nature is predicting Australians to splurge as much as they did last year. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians spent over $7 billion over the Black Friday period in 2022.

In fact, the ABS reports that Australians are saving their money in October and “splurging” in November. And a Choice magazine poll revealed that over 60 per cent of Australians said they were “interested in buying something during Black Friday.”

So if you’re in that majority, happy shopping!

Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

Feature image: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash