Black Friday sounds like one of those things that has nothing to do with happiness and joy, we usually associate the colour black with darkness and negativity. So how did offers a discount on Christmas gifts and other items come to be marketed under the tagline of “Black Friday” tagline across the world? Read on and find out the history behind it.
Where did Black Friday start?
To understand the origin of Black Friday we must first understand the (mostly) US holiday; Thanksgiving. This holiday, marked on the fourth Thursday of November, was started in 1789 by the first president of the United States George Washington as a way to mark the end of the harvest season and “give thanks” for the food and other produce that was grown on the land. It also marked the beginning of the Christmas season. The Thanksgiving Holiday is a time where families and friend’s come together to celebrate the year that has passed, share a meal and celebrate together. This is also a time where people dedicate time off for charity work: giving back to those less fortunate than them.
So, what does this have to do with shopping?
There are two things that usually define holidays, food and gifts. We love exchanging gifts with our family and friends around special days such as birthdays, anniversaries and religious holidays such as Christmas. Thanksgiving is no different. Since people usually travel from far to spend time with their families, some of whom they might not have interreacted or seen for a long time, there is usually a lot of excitement about meeting and sharing goodies and treats.
This has led to a big increase in shopping around this time, not only in the US but also around the world as people begin preparing for the Christmas holiday period. Retailers and shops responded to this by running sales promotions and offering discounts at this time of the year. The biggest shopping day of the year became the Friday after Thanksgiving. This fourth Friday of November is what has come to be known as Black Friday.
But why “Black”?
The “colour” of the Friday has nothing to do with supernatural forces. The “black” refers to the heavy surge in traffic from shoppers who want to get finish their Christmas shopping all at the same time. This leads to a lot of congestion and confusion, especially in brick and mortar retail stores. The increase in shoppers looking to score the deals and offers before the ran out has led to some shops opening earlier and earlier; as early as Thursday at midnight or even at 5pm on Thanksgiving Day, in order to accommodate the shoppers. Some people even call Thanksgiving day “Black Thursday“. The Monday after Black Friday also got a new moniker, Cyber Monday. During cyber Monday, users who had missed out on shopping over the weekend look for remaining deals and bargains.
The Growth of Black Friday in Kenya.
As the internet grew, more and more retailers opened up online stores. Users now shop from the convenience of their homes or wherever they are. The focus on the discounts and offers given around Black Friday increased even more. Black Friday stopped becoming about a specific day and began referring to all the sales promotions that occurred during the November shopping period; as a precursor to the Christmas shopping season.
The fact that most countries outside the US do not celebrate Thanksgiving means that a lot of them do not think of it as a specific day. In Kenya for example, most Black Friday campaigns begin at the start of November. During this period, retailers offer discounts that are usually larger than what they regularly have. This has become especially true with online retailers such as MYDAWA, Kasha, Jumia, Killimall, SkyGarden and other eCommerce stores. They all advertise special black Friday discounts well beforehand and have special coupon codes and competitions around this theme.
At MYDAWA, one of our brand pillars is affordability. This fits in very well with the spirit of Black Friday deals. The products on our website and mobile app are all sourced directly from the manufacturers themselves or their official importers and distributors. This allows us to guarantee the quality of the products that are on offer. It also gives us the opportunity to get the best prices for products since there are no middlemen. It also allows us to be in a unique position to negotiate discounts and offers directly with the manufacturers themselves which further reduces the price.
At the end of the day, our supply chain model gives you, the end-user, the best value for your money. This coupled with our free delivery across Nairobi and its environs as well as zero payment fees when using MPESA means that you save even more when doing your Black Friday shopping.
Black Friday 2020
This year, we at MYDAWA want to switch things up a bit. We think 2020 has had a lot of “black” so we decided to brighten it up and have Pink Friday. We are discounting your favourite skin, baby, hair, fitness, menstrual hygiene products and more by up to 70% on MYDAWA.com and on the MYDAWA app. This means that throughout November you can enjoy a little bit extra money in your pocket thanks to MYDAWA.
Check out some of the products on offer
Save an extra 20% on your order today using coupon code PinkFriday when you checkout on MYDAWA.