What is Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) and why is it called Black Friday?
There seems to be some confusion over what Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) actually is and where the term has come from. So we have created a short blog post to explain and hopefully clarify for people what Black Friday Cyber Monday is all about and why it has become such a big deal in Australia in the past couple of years.
Black Friday is the name given to the Friday following Thanksgiving in the United States. This is the day that has marked the beginning of the Christmas shopping season since early in the 20th century, although the name “Black Friday” has only been commonly used for the last three decades. A common explanation of the name comes from the idea that retailers begin to turn a profit at this time of year, going from “being in the red” to “being in the black”. So historically it comes from an association with an accounting term.
Everyone loves a sale.
Traditionally, Black Friday was associated with the beginning of the Christmas season, with retailers postponing Christmas advertising and sales until after Thanksgiving. These days, Black Friday is a day on which retailers across America (and now across the globe) offer hefty sales. It has been stated that Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States. Stores often open very early in the morning, and in recent years some have opened their doors during the night, or on the day before, to maximize shopping potential. In Australia, the equivalent sale has always been the Boxing Day Sales.
Since the mid-2000s, online retailers in the US have also promoted sales on the Monday following Thanksgiving, termed “Cyber Monday”. This began when many people who were busy or did not find what they were looking for in the sales on Black Friday, would shop online on the Monday following. Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday is often considered the busiest shopping day of the year for online retailers.
BFCM is now a global event.
These days, Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) sales are observed in many Western countries, including Australia. The globalisation of brands and online shopping, even for comparatively small retailers like My Name Label, has meant that countries outside of the United States must also participate in this retail event in order to remain competitive. It is seen as an excellent opportunity for retailers, both bricks and mortar stores and online, to boost sales coming into the Christmas season, while customers make the most of the generous sales and bargains as they approach a busy time of year.
In Australia, the term ‘Black Friday’ has also been associated with disastrous bush fire events. However, this global shopping event is not intended to be disrespectful to anyone who has been affected by bushfire and we do not intend for our own participation to be in any way offensive. In fact, as a demonstration of our support for those affected by bushfire in Australia, My Name Label will donate 5% of sales of name labels this BFCM Saturday to the CFS Foundation
Will BFCM be on again next year?
BFCM is here to stay! Like so many things driven by the enormous US economy (Halloween is another example), in today’s global market Australian retailers cannot ignore or fail to participate in these events. So from now on you can guarantee sales from all major brands and retailers (big and small) are here to stay. Sales start on the Friday following Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November) and run for 4 days – Friday to Monday (because Monday is a holiday in the US). Make the most of it and get your Christmas shopping done early!