The History Of Black Friday

For millions around the world, Black Friday is a significant deal. It’s the day they get some of the products they’ve been needing at heavily discounted prices. This can save people a ton of money, and that leads to the overall success of Black Friday as a whole. But what exactly is Black Friday? What is the history behind this monumental day? Let’s take a look at the history of Black Friday and what makes it so important!

Where It All Began

Today, millions upon millions of people take Black Friday incredibly seriously. This is when they do the bulk of their holiday shopping or fulfil purchase needs they’ve had all year long. But long ago, Black Friday simply didn’t exist.

It was in the 1960s that the term ‘Black Friday’ originated in Philadelphia. It was due to the congested streets in the city that were heading to the Army-Navy football game and looking for post-thanksgiving specials that the term ‘Black Friday’ began being thrown around. Stores initially rejected the name calling it ‘Big Friday’ instead. Unfortunately for them, this didn’t stick.

In theory, we can sort of trace Black Friday back to the 20s, with Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924 being the launchpad of the Friday after thanksgiving sales. After that, the name began circulating, and eventually, in the 80s, it took on its core name of Black Friday as being the day of post-Thanksgiving sales.

Why Did Black Friday Become Such a Popular Day?

Black Friday began its rise in popularity due to the adoption of the specials day tactic by major retailers throughout the 70s and 80s. No other sale could compete with what Black Friday was quickly becoming. It snowballed from there, and soon, retailers were throwing all their weight into these kinds of sales. Whether they were making it public knowledge or hyping it up through television ads and printouts, retail giants and smaller retailers were taking full advantage of what had become a national phenomenon.

The Rise of Online Retail

For decades, Black Friday was a purely in-person affair. However, with the rise of online retail in the early 2000s, there was a growth to be experienced by Black Friday figures and certain retailers. More people began engaging in Black Friday thanks to the introduction of online retail. This eventually gave rise to Cyber Monday. This would be an off-shoot of Black Friday and be relegated to purely online retail. Cyber Monday is now just as popular as Black Friday. While Black Friday reigns supreme, Cyber Monday is making its mark!

2020 Changes Black Friday Forever

2020 was a difficult year for consumers. With the virus raging on, it was questioned whether Black Friday ought to even happen. So, instead, Black Friday became hyped up as an online event. This didn’t mean in-person shopping wasn’t allowed, but it was clear retailers knew where consumers' fears were lying. So they really threw their weight behind the online route. They even extended sales from a single day to a full-on week and, in some cases, a month.

Emerging From a Pandemic

The pandemic has changed much of how we operate in the world. Black Friday is no exception. Retailers managed to earn a boost in sales from the 2020 cycle and fully embraced the hybrid model of both online and offline Black Friday sales. They’re looking to maximise sales wherever possible and are comfortable doing so in this capacity. Some discounts in 2021 were slightly overwhelming, but this is expected to pick up as we go into 2022.

Black Friday Statistics

Here are some impressive statistics you should know about when it comes to Black Friday!

Shopping & Spending

- In the 1990s, consumers began camping outside of stores to take full advantage of Black Friday sales.

- The 2021 supply chain issues made Black Friday in 2021 a little different. Consumers began shopping earlier to avoid the disappointment of stock shortages. As a result, consumer spending during November was up 11.9% to $109,8 Billion in comparison to 2020.

- Black Friday saw a decrease of .63% in 2021 as Black Friday (including Thanksgiving) made $14.04 Billion in online sales.

- Black Friday did see an increase of 19% over 2019 sales at $14.13 overall.

- 2019 experienced $11.9 billion in online sales, which was up 20.2% from 2018.

Online Vs. In-person

2020 saw 100 million consumers shop online (which is up 8% from 2019). In-person shopping naturally saw the opposite effect in 2020. Instead, they were down 37%, with only 58.7 million consumers hitting the stores.

Popular Black Friday Brands & Products In 2021

- Amazon Echo

- Nintendo Switch

- Oculus Quest

- Hot Wheels

- Barbie

- VTech Toys

- AirPods

- XBox Series S

- Video Games

- Small Kitchen Appliances


There you have it. The rich history of Black Friday is explained and expressed with statistics and facts. But, this day, in the end, is so much more than facts and figures. It’s about the people and how they benefit from a day of significant savings, meaning they’re making essential financial savings in the process. Considering the festive season is upon them, these savings couldn’t have come sooner.

Catch is getting ready for the best Black Friday sale ever, and we want you to get ready. Set up your account on Catch marketplace today and start crafting wishlists to prepare for the coming Black Friday specials. We can’t wait for our customers to see what we’ve got in store!