The positive aspect of traditions is that, for better or worse , they are also handed down when they are not related to religious events or important events for a Nation.
One of these traditions, which has been extensively in Italy for a few years, is named “Black Friday” and that, for shopping enthusiasts, had nothing to do with “Black”.
The history of Black Friday
The word “Black Friday” draws its origins from the financial crisis related to the collapse of the US gold market on September 24, 1869. Two well-known Wall Street businessmen, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, joined in an economic partnership buy as much gold as they could hoping to push the price up and sell it for stunning profits. However, on that Friday in September, the conspiracy broke out, sending the free-fall stock market and all in bankrupt, from Wall Street’s most visible men to farmers in the countryside.
Few people know the true story behind the origins of the Black Friday, which is more commonly known for its connection to the world of shopping than to the high finance sector, but this is precisely its origin and now we want to explain why it is “black”.
As the story tells, following the collapse of the gold market during that September 24, 1869, merchants of any category went through a full year of loss, featured in red pens withing the sales records. The day after Thanksgiving, however, those shopkeepers applied strong rebates that pushed the American people to move in mass and buy by increasing their profits and, then, restoring black color on the sales registers.
All the business activities recorded the accounting records with the pen in black and red. The first represented the active accounts, the second ones in loss making “black” the day dedicated to sales, discounts and shopping.
There is also another detail that might potentially be linked to the story of the Black Friday, the days the slaves were being sold out. It is said that wealthy landowners, after Thanksgiving, were preparing to face the winter by buying new workforce to face the cold season in the plantations, taking advantage of a discounted price from the negroes.
Today, the Black Friday story is essentially linked to the world of pre-Christmas shopping and sales, which, however, brings with it other history and other traditions.In the 1950s, the Philadelphia city police used the term to describe the chaos that followed the Thanksgiving Day, when hordes of buyers and tourists of suburbs poured into the city in advance of the great football game of the Army-Navy . Also, Philadelphia police could not take a day off, but they would have to work extra long turns to handle crowds and additional traffic.
When in 1961, the “Black Friday” came to Philadelphia, the merchants and retailers tried in vain to change it to “Great Friday” to remove the negative connotations but the neologism did not spread to the rest of the country and never came into use.
Towards the end of the 1980s, however, retailers found a way to reinvent the Black Friday and turn it into something that was positively, rather than negatively, reflected on them and their customers. The result was the “red-black” passage, and the idea that the afternoon Thanksgiving Americans could officially start preparing for Christmas shopping and vacation.Soon, in fact, the negative meaning of the term was forgotten until it transformed this tradition into a four-day event (from friday to monday) and, consecutively, also generated the Cyber Monday. Analysts are also able to estimate the volume of Christmas sales thanks to buyers’ inflows this weekend that officially opens the door to Christmas shopping. Riccardo Mangiaracina, responsible for the eCommerce B2C Netcomm Observatory at the Politecnico di Milano, says: “All the operators are now ready with more and more aggressive promotions and deals every year, with free shipping and 30% discounts, which can also reach 80 %, “he explains. Last year, Italian consumers made online purchases for around 600 million euros this year, almost 3% of annual online demand, this year, well … we “re-read” on Tuesday.