Black Friday creates excitement in SA stores

2014-11-29 00:00

AT some point yesterday, you may have heard the words “Black Friday” float around in the office or on social networks.

Don’t take offence, it’s not a new racial slander spat out from the depths of our country’s past. So what is Black Friday and how did it get here?

Black Friday is an American name for the day following Thanksgiving every year and is often regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in Western countries.

Major retailers open their shops at odd hours of the morning and massively cut down their prices to draw in customers for one big shopping extravaganza every year.

The day’s name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic and accidents that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.

Later an alternative explanation was made. According to, accountants generally use black ink to signify profit when recording each day’s book entries.

Red is used to signify loss. Therefore, retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss (considered to be “in the red”) from January through November, and “Black Friday” indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or remain “in the black”.

This year has seen many South African stores adopting the Black Friday tradition. Some big names yesterday cut their prices for one day only in preparation for the Christmas season.

Marketing director of Checkers Neil Schreuder said that the Checkers Black Friday promotion would bring some of the American excitement to their stores for Christmas, but the multimillion rand price cuts will be a welcome gift for consumers in trying economic times.

“It will help consumers considerably with Christmas savings and we have pulled out all the stops to ensure SA consumers will get unprecedented deals this Friday [yesterday].

“They have been carefully chosen to suit our customers’ shopping needs this time of year and we are confident that consumers will rush to take advantage of this one day sales promotion of note,” Schreuder said.

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