Well it’s just around the corner: Black Friday is coming! It takes place on the fourth Thursday of November, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, the country where the tradition was born. Although it is currently a time of discounts to lighten everyone’s wallet, at Garden Hotels we have also joined the celebration to serve as your passport to happiness.
The history of Black Friday is related to something you would never imagine, nothing to do with the shopping and offers on products and services that have been taking place since 2012 in Spain. Its origin could be traced back to Friday 24 September 1869, when two Wall Street brokers tried to take over the entire gold market by colluding with Boss Tweed, a famous New York politician, using tricks that were far from legal and ethical, such as bribing judges and influential people of the time. However, the day did not end as they had planned: the value of gold plummeted and led to the ruin of investors, which is why the day became known as Black Friday. As early as the mid-1950s, according to the Telegraph, an important match between the US army and navy was to be held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Earlier that Friday, the city of Philadelphia experienced a rush of people wanting to get a head start on their Christmas shopping so they could attend Saturday’s meeting. On that day, such chaos was generated that the police force had to work at full capacity for hours to avoid incidents due to the large influx of people. That day was christened Black Friday. Following the success of the initiative, Philadelphia merchants coined the term to refer to the crowds that flocked to the shops the day after Thanksgiving. It was first published in 1966 in The American Philatelist magazine and was eventually popularised in The New York Times in 1975, where it referred to the city’s traffic problem on the day after Thanksgiving. In the United States in 2003, the famous Walmart and Sears stores offered the first big Black Friday discounts by opening their shops before five in the morning.
Black Friday lands in Spain
So when did Black Friday arrive in Spain, you may ask. The German chain MediaMarkt was the first to celebrate this day in 2012, joined in 2013 by other companies such as El Corte Inglés and Amazon. In 2015 the boom was such that more than two million people spent an average of 300 euros each on one single Black Friday. And this date has now been extended with Cyber Monday, a day dedicated to online sales which is held on the Monday following Black Friday, and many establishments start their offers weeks before.
When is the tourism sector getting on board with Black Friday?
Did you know that around 10% of the sales that take place on Black Friday come from offers in the tourism and hotel sector? That’s right. We joined the global trend in the aftermath of the pandemic. Furthermore, according to the Brain Trust Tourism Barometer, 40% of travellers plan their trips in advance, so Black Friday has managed to boost bookings in months of low demand, such as those leading up to Christmas.
And as always, the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) recommends not to rush blindly into this world shopping day and to make sure that any information you see is real, to avoid falling prey to fraud or scams. Be particularly alert to phishing or theft of personal data by criminals through cyber-attacks, which have become so prevalent lately.