Recently, traditional day of Black Friday turned 50 years old. Americans have cut the record during the “black Friday” of 2017, buying goods through online shopping in the amount of 7.9 billion dollars. In the United States and many other countries, discounts are really enormous at this day – they can reach 80, and even in some cases, 90 percent. In other countries, the tradition of sales was taken up as well, but discounts are not particularly large. Often, sellers raise prices in advance, and then drop them to normal level in order to create only the illusion of a discount.


The founder of Black Friday (many years before its appearance) was Frank Woolworth (1852–1919), as he, at the end of the XIX century, came up with first sales.

In the city of Lancaster (Pennsylvania), he was working as an assistant at a small shop. In those days, there were no price tags in the stores, and the sellers had to figure out the solvency of their customers during the conversations with them and only then to set prices. Woolworth suffered greatly because of this duty, and once, when the main salesperson was away, he took a desperate step. Frank placed all the seasonal goods on the counter and put a sign “Five cents each.” This was the first sale! In the wake of commercial success, Frank Woolworth created the largest retail network of the early twentieth century.

Woolworth stores have become the progenitors of modern supermarkets and discounters. Mr. Woolworth’s company is now selling sportswear and footwear. You can visit one of these shops, while hiring a car at Hertz Hillsboro OR.

Having established constant and “sales” prices for goods, sellers quickly realized that they received the most profit before Christmas, when most of people buy gifts. Hence appeared the tradition to arrange the biggest sales immediately after Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday of November), as this is the perfect time to buy presents, – the buyers have a whole month to make all the purchases.

Black Friday in USA

For dozens of years, American retailers were developing their marketing system and enlarged discounts after Thanksgiving, especially on Friday, which became widely known as Black Friday. In 1995, in the ‘Standard-Speaker’ newspaper it was said that these is no clear explanation, why Black Friday is called this way. However, the term “Black Friday” in relation to sales after Thanksgiving Day is used not for long time. There are several versions of the origin of this name:

  • Once, the phrase “Black Friday” meant the 1869 collapse of the gold market, which was on Friday in September. That year, all the crises on Wall Street stock market were called the same way.
  • People called “Black Friday” any Friday, the 13th. In March 1970, there was a big sale on Friday in one of the stores in Pennsylvania and it was called ‘Black Friday Sale’.
  • The expression “Black Friday” began to be used by police officers from Philadelphia, who were shocked by huge traffic jams that occurred on Friday after Thanksgiving Day. The New York Times newspaper in 1975 wrote that the bus drivers and the police in Philadelphia had a hard time on this busy day. In the 1980s, the state newspapers of Pennsylvania began calling the day after Thanksgiving Day- ‘Black Friday’, possibly because of the traffic jams.

In the 1989 Associated Press, which mentions Black Friday, the author writes that she is from Philadelphia, where people call the day after Thanksgiving- the ‘Black Friday’, because there are a lot of people in shopping centers and no free parking lots at this day.


Many large chains of shops begin their Black Friday sale right on Thanksgiving, although there are exceptions. In some cases, the stores begin operating at midnight before Thanksgiving. The sales after the Thanksgiving Day have always been popular. In 1966, the phrase “Black Friday” finally settled on the East Coast of the United States and began to mean a very short, almost magical time, when sellers set the biggest discounts on their goods.