How did Black Friday come about?


It’s been impossible to escape Black Friday in 2017 in South Africa. We thought the least we could do is educate you on the origins and history of the day!

While Black Friday first gained popularity in the US decades ago, it has definitely become a global phenomenon in the last few years. South African retailers have showed mild interest in recent years but there’s no question that Black Friday is officially a “thing” in 2017.

Suits & Sneakers has NO Black Friday offers but we thought it would be interesting to delve into the history of the day for entertainment and educational purposes.


Black Friday is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America, the fourth Thursday of November, which has been regarded as the beginning of the country’s Christmas shopping season since 1952.

The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving in a shopping context suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. This usage dates to at least 1961. More than twenty years later, as the phrase became more widespread, a popular explanation became that this day represented the point in the year when retailers begin to turn a profit, thus going from being “in the red” to being “in the black”.

Source: Wikipedia


Black Friday is part of the holiday shopping season in the US. That includes November and December, according to the National Retail Federation. It is estimated that in 2016, the average spend per shopper during this time was $935.58 and in total, $655.8 billion was spent across all shoppers. Clearly Americans take the Christmas shopping very seriously!

Source: the balance


  • Americans spend more time shopping on Thanksgiving weekend than they do visiting Disney hot spots!
  • Seven people have died and 98 people have been injured in the US while Black Friday shopping 2006. That’s more people injured or killed by fellow shoppers than by sharks.

Source: USNEWS


I won’t lie, when I woke up this morning, the last person I thought I would quote is Euphonik (South African DJ) but he tweeted something a few days ago around Black Friday that really resonated with me:

“Notice how there’s no Black Friday for share options, property, loans and mortgages. Issa Trap! All the shit you should be putting your money into won’t be one sale or available cheaper. Produce don’t consume!”

If you go shopping crazy, be safe. It’s a jungle out there!