For many, Black Friday is the unofficial kick-off to the holiday shopping season. Black Friday 2023 falls on November 24th. Whether you’re planning to replace one your kitchen appliances or searching for that perfect holiday gift, it’s the best time to take advantage of the year’s best deals. Why has Black Friday become such a colossal sales event? In this article, we trace its origins, its adoption in Canada, and its evolution in the age of digital shopping. 

The origin of Black Friday 

Black Friday is traditionally observed on the day after American Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November, making Black Friday the subsequent Friday. The name “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s. It’s said that the term “black” refers to stores moving from being “in the red” (or making a loss) to “in the black” (making a profit). 

Black Friday in Canada

Canada, with its close proximity to the United States, picked up on the Black Friday fervour. Although Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated in October, Canadians noticed the attractive deals just south of the border and wanted in on the action. Retailers in Canada quickly recognized this trend, and by the early 2010s, Black Friday had firmly established its footprint in the Canadian retail landscape. While there are distinct differences in American Canadian Black Friday sales—largely due to the exchange rate, market dynamics, and consumer preferences—the spirit of seeking a good deal remains consistent. 

Shifting from brick-and-mortar to digital deals 

These days shoppers don’t have to camp outside stores overnight and brave the chilly November air. The past decade has seen a dramatic shift from in-store shopping to Black Friday online deals. The reason is multifaceted: comfort, convenience, and a wider range of options available online. Retailers, recognizing this trend, have amped up their online promotions, often offering exclusive online deals or early-bird specials. E-commerce platforms have further facilitated this shift, making it easier than ever for Canadians to snag deals from the comfort of their homes. 

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

Soon after Black Friday comes its digital counterpart—Cyber Monday. Originating as the online shopping answer to Black Friday, Cyber Monday falls on the Monday following American Thanksgiving. With a strong e-commerce culture in Canada, it’s natural for Canadians to be split between these two shopping holidays. While Black Friday offers a mix of in-store and online deals, Cyber Monday is predominantly online. For those who prefer skipping the in-store rush and shopping from their laptops or mobile devices, Cyber Monday might be the better fit.

Torn between Black Friday and Cyber Monday? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer as to when to get the best deals. It boils down to individual preferences, the kind of deals one is seeking, and sometimes, sheer luck in finding that perfect deal. 

Shopping responsibly on Black Friday 

With the annual shopping frenzy comes a downside—a surge in consumerism and the potential environmental impact. From the production of goods to the packaging and shipping, every purchase has a carbon footprint. However, eco-conscious Canadians are increasingly seeking ways to shop responsibly. Remember to choose quality over quantity; Investing in long-lasting items might mean fewer purchases in the long run. You can also opt out on plastic bags and digital receipts to cut down on waste.

More than just a day of shopping

For many shoppers, Black Friday is a tradition, an experience, and sometimes, a strategic game of nabbing the best deals. In Canada, this phenomenon has been adapted and embraced, reflecting the country’s unique market dynamics and consumer preferences. It’s crucial for shoppers to approach these sales with a discerning eye, recognizing genuine offers from marketing gimmicks. So whether you’re gearing up for Black Friday or waiting for Cyber Monday, being informed, conscious, and intentional can make the experience both fruitful and enjoyable. 

This article was drafted using AI technology and then reviewed, fact-checked, and revised by a member of our editorial team.

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Best Buy (assisted with AI)
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