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Tata Capital > Blog > Generic > The Evolution of Black Friday: What to Expect in 2023


The Evolution of Black Friday: What to Expect in 2023

The Evolution of Black Friday: What to Expect in 2023

Get ready for the shopping extravaganza of the year, as the much-anticipated Black Friday 2023 approaches. This isn't just any shopping day; it's a cultural phenomenon, a retail spectacle, and an economic litmus test all rolled into one. 

Black Friday, which falls on 24 November 2023, has a rich history that stretches back to post-Thanksgiving Day sales in the United States. But it's no longer confined to the land of stars and stripes. It has grown into a global phenomenon, drawing in consumers from all corners of the world in search of incredible deals and doorbusters.

In this article, we'll take you on a journey through the evolution of Black Friday, from its humble beginnings to the shopping frenzy we know today.

The Origins of Black Friday

The term "Black Friday" is believed to be a nod to the word "black" signifying profitability in old bookkeeping practices. In this system, profits were recorded in black ink, while losses were noted in red ink. The concept was that retail businesses would sell enough on this Friday to put themselves "in the black" for the rest of the year.

The term, however, didn't originate from marketing executives but rather from overworked Philadelphia police officers in the 1950s. The day after Thanksgiving witnessed a surge of shoppers and visitors to the city, coupled with the Army-Navy football game. This meant traffic cops were working gruelling 12-hour shifts, unable to take a day off. Over time, they began to refer to this dreaded workday as "Black Friday."

This colloquialism eventually spread to store salespeople who used the term to describe the long lines and chaos they faced on that day. It remained Philadelphia slang for a while, spreading to nearby cities like Trenton, NJ.

In the mid-1990s, celebrating the positive connotation of black ink, "Black Friday" gained nationwide recognition, appearing in print and TV ad campaigns. It has since evolved from a post-Thanksgiving sale to a global shopping phenomenon. 

The Evolution of Black Friday 2023 Date

In the 2000s, Black Friday officially claimed its title as the biggest shopping day of the year. Prior to that, the Saturday before Christmas held this distinction. However, as retailers began promoting irresistible post-Thanksgiving sales, the discounts grew deeper, and American consumers could no longer resist the pull of Black Friday.

In 2011, a significant shift occurred when Walmart announced it would start its sales on Thanksgiving evening, rather than waiting until Friday morning. This innovative move sparked a frenzy among other big-box retailers, ultimately leading to the birth of "Black Weekend." This transformation signified that Black Friday is no longer confined to a single day but has become an extended shopping extravaganza.

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two significant shopping days following Thanksgiving, each with its distinctive characteristics and appeal to different types of shoppers.

Black Friday, often associated with early morning in-store sales, offers a unique shopping experience with doorbusters and significant discounts. Shoppers flock to brick-and-mortar stores to take advantage of deals on various products, from electronics to holiday essentials.

Cyber Monday, on the other hand, is the digital sibling of Black Friday. It falls on the Monday following Thanksgiving, making it ideal for online shopping. Online retailers herald their promotions and website-only deals to compete with the offerings of physical stores. This online shopping holiday provides an opportunity for consumers to score great deals from the comfort of their homes or workplaces.

Traditionally, Cyber Monday held the title of the biggest online shopping day of the year. However, since 2019, Black Friday has surpassed it in terms of online sales. In 2022, approximately 87.2 million shoppers participated in online Black Friday shopping, while Cyber Monday saw 77 million online shoppers.

The Significance of Black Friday

For many, Black Friday is a barometer of the retail industry's health. The sales figures on this day are often viewed as an indicator of consumer confidence and economic optimism. When consumers are willing to open their wallets and spend on Black Friday, it signifies faith in the economy and personal financial stability.

However, not everyone shares this perspective. Some argue that Black Friday doesn't have a meaningful impact on the stock markets as a whole. Instead, it might lead to only short-term gains or losses for specific retailers. While it can lead to a surge in sales, this doesn't necessarily translate into sustained growth throughout the holiday season.

Nonetheless, one undeniable impact of Black Friday Specials is their ability to influence consumer behaviour. Shoppers are drawn to the incredible deals and discounts offered on this day, often leading to stampedes and, on occasion, even violence when security measures are inadequate. Historical incidents, such as the Cabbage Patch Kids doll frenzy in 1983 or the tragic incident in 2008 when a worker was trampled to death, serve as reminders of how fervent shoppers can become during this annual event.

What to Expect in Black Friday 2023?

Black Friday Specials is eagerly anticipated, with shoppers and retailers preparing for a day filled with unbeatable deals and promotions. Mark your calendars for November 24, as this is the day when the holiday shopping season officially begins.

Shoppers can expect a wide array of offers and discounts across different product categories. Electronics, such as televisions, smartphones, and smart devices, have traditionally been among the most popular choices for Black Friday deals. 

This year, you can anticipate significant discounts on these items, as well as on other high-demand products like laptops, gaming consoles, and home appliances.

Retailers will also offer substantial discounts on seasonal items, including holiday decorations, gift items, and winter clothing. It's an excellent opportunity for shoppers to not only save on significant purchases but also stock up on holiday essentials.


As we look forward to Black Friday 2023, one thing is certain – it will continue to shape the world of retail and consumer economics. So, get ready for the excitement, prepare your shopping lists, and make smart financial decisions during this holiday season.

Whether you're planning big purchases or looking for investment opportunities, TATA Capital is here to assist you in making informed decisions. Visit Tata Capital to discover how you can navigate the world of finance with confidence. Happy shopping and financial success!

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