So for our Australian followers, we 'know Black Friday' seems a rather confusing thing to entertain. So we thought we’d give you some history as to how Black Friday came about. Of-course, this is true that it very much started as an American tradition, and given the rise of online e-commerce, it’s become a bit of a tradition here in Australia as well.
Believe it or not, Black Friday started much earlier than people may think. The day after Thanksgiving in the US has been the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season since the late 19th century when President Lincoln designated the Thanksgiving holiday as the last Thursday in November.
The day after Thanksgiving wasn't called Black Friday then. The name was associated with September 24, 1869. Two speculators, Jay Gould, and James Fisk created a boom-and-bust in gold prices. A stock market crash followed as prices fell 20%. The disruption in gold prices sent commodity prices plummeting 50%. Corruption in Tammany Hall ( A New York City political organisation) allowed Gould and Fisk to escape without punishment.
In 1905, Canadian department store Eaton's began the first Thanksgiving Day parade by bringing Santa on a wagon through the streets of downtown Toronto. In 1913, eight live reindeer pulled Santa's "sleigh." By 1916, seven floats representing nursery rhyme characters joined Santa in the parade.
In 1924, the Eaton's parade inspired Macy's Department Store to launch its famous Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. Macy's wanted to celebrate its success during the Roaring 20s. The parade boosted shopping for the following day. Retailers had a gentleman's agreement to wait until then before advertising holiday sales.
In 1939, during the Great Depression, Thanksgiving happened to fall during the fifth week of November. Retailers warned they would go bankrupt because the holiday shopping season was too short. They petitioned President Franklin D. Roosevelt to move the Thanksgiving holiday up to the fourth Thursday.
Unfortunately, by this time it was late October. Most people had already made their plans. Some were so upset that they called the holiday "Franksgiving" instead. Only 25 states followed FDR's move. Texas and Colorado celebrated two holidays, which forced some companies to give their employees an extra day off.
In the 1950s, people began calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving, essentially giving themselves a four-day weekend. Since stores were open, as were most businesses, those playing hooky could also get a head start on their holiday shopping. That’s as long as the boss didn't see them. Rather than try to determine whose pay should be cut, and who was legitimately sick, many businesses started adding that day as another paid holiday.
In 1966, the Black Friday name became famous in print. That's when a story appeared in an ad in The American Philatelist, a stamp collectors' magazine. The Philadelphia Police Department used the name to describe the traffic jams and crowding in the downtown stores.
Black Friday slowly crept into Australia as retailers found it a great opportunity to create a buzz before the big boxing day sales we're so use to.
And thankfully, with the proliferation of the world wide web, we can now avoid stores altogether. So if you’ve read this far in, you either have a genuine interest as to how this very capitalist celebration ended up here in Australia. Or you're just bored and this came around.
KOPA here in celebration of Black Friday, we're offering 25% off select items in our range. These include.
Our Black Friday Sale ends this Sunday! Get in and secure something unique for your home today.