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The history of Black Friday goes back further than you may think. Now known as the high discount, huge shopping day, the tradition of shopping the day after Thanksgiving began in America during the 1950s when people began calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving – giving themselves a four-day weekend – using it as a chance to get a head start on their holiday shopping.
It wasn’t until 1966 that it was called Black Friday; becoming immortalised when the Philadelphia Police Department used it to describe the traffic jams, crowding and violence in downtown stores.
Retailers weren’t too happy with the negative connotations the police department had placed on Black Friday – especially as the day after Thanksgiving quickly became one of the most profitable days of the year. This is when retailers adopted the name, but this time to reflect the successful and profitable nature of the day, rather than focusing on the overcrowding and traffic jams. They began to offer deep discounts only available on that day, and Black Friday as we now know it was born.
Cyber Monday is the Monday following Black Friday.
It was named Cyber Monday in 2005, and focuses on online sales rather than instore offers and discounts.
In 2017 and 2018, Cyber Monday was the biggest shopping day of the year – beating Black Friday itself and has set sales records ever since it began.