Black Friday is just around the corner. Born in America, this special day of discounts is always the last Friday in November. Black Friday is now a term that most people in Europe are familiar with too, but do you know what it means?
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. Very much like Boxing Day in the United Kingdom, it is the day after feasting and celebrations when many Americans have a day off and hit the shops. It first appeared in print in a newspaper advert in 1966 and grew throughout the 70s into an increasingly important day in the retail calendar.
Americans came to expect the best discounts on this day. High street retailers started to open earlier and earlier, and eager bargain hunters developed the habit of queuing – or even camping – outside stores before they opened, just to be sure of getting the best deals.
Much more recently the Black Friday phenomena has crossed the Atlantic and become a familiar term all over Europe and the world. This globalisation of Black Friday was driven by the large online retailers and – outside of America – it remains an almost exclusively online sales day.
There are quite a few competing explanations for the derivation of the term. It may have started in 1869 when there was a big crash on the stock market the Friday after Thanksgiving. The term may just come from the fact that retailers made so much money that it was often the day they first broke even in the year; so were ‘in the black’ as opposed to ‘in the red’. Another theory just associates the blackness of the day with all the smog and pollution from cars full of eager shoppers queuing to get into town and hoover up all the bargains.
In Europe and even in America nowadays, the best deals are to be had online with many major online-retailers getting involved. Often they start their sales period even before the day itself or offer exclusive deals for those who sign up early to Black Friday discounting lists.
Rosetta Stone be offering the best deals of the year on a range of language-learning packages this Black Friday. Make sure you are on the list to receive the best offers.
As if one discount day wasn’t enough, in recent years retailers have coined a new term for the following week: Cyber Monday and Cyber Week. Originally this was a day designed to be an online equivalent of retails’ Black Friday. These days it is more like an extension of a sale period that lasts over a week and runs straight up to about the Christmas period. Far from watering down the discounts, this end of November sales period often does offer shoppers the best deals, as most retailers put their prices back up in December, confident of high gift-driven sales at any price point.
So if you want to get your Christmas shopping cheaper or want to buy something special for yourself, then this end of November discounting period could be the very best time to act. You can certainly expect some great deals from Rosetta Stone….
Language learner, teacher and contributing author to the Rosetta Stone magazine
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