As the calendar turns past Thanksgiving, we find ourselves in a familiar season – one celebrated for its generous discounts, though its deeper nuances remain largely unknown to most of us. The unofficial holiday gets its name due to the heavy traffic and chaos caused in the late 1960s in Philadelphia by large numbers of suburban tourists coming into the city to begin their holiday shopping. Over the years the Friday after thanksgiving has evolved from a day-long frenzy of discounted shopping to an extended weekend of sales, encompassing Cyber Monday, and increasingly, the entire week, or the Black Friday Creep.

In American culture, Black Friday holds a place of significance, symbolising the height of consumerism. On social media, images of shoppers camping outside stores in the early hours, braving the cold, have become iconic. While initially this was a uniquely American event, Black Friday has transcended borders, influencing retail habits worldwide. Countries around the globe now host their versions of Black Friday sales, though the cultural context and impact can vary significantly from that in the United States.

Economically, Black Friday represents a bellwether for the retail industry. Retailers offer significant discounts that year after year draw in millions of shoppers eager to snag deals for holiday gifts and the occasional home appliance. This consumer behaviour reflects not just a pursuit of savings but has become a ritualistic aspect of American Thanksgiving. As an economic indicator, Black Friday sales offer insights into consumer confidence and spending patterns. It’s not uncommon for this period to account for a significant chunk of annual retail sales. Retailers will therefore compete fiercely amongst each other, using doorbusters and early-bird specials to attract consumers, hoping to outdo sales figures from previous years. 

As technology has evolved, so has Black Friday, with the advent of e-commerce having transformed the event. Online shopping has become an integral part of the event, leading to the creation of Cyber Monday, another day of discounts dedicated to online sales. This shift has not only provided convenience to consumers but has also led to a prolonged shopping period, extending deals beyond just one day. Despite its popularity, Black Friday is not without controversy. It has been criticised for promoting unchecked consumerism, contributing to environmental concerns, and placing undue pressure on retail employees. Incidents of shopper aggression and safety concerns have also sparked debate about the societal impact of such an event!


This marketing document has been issued by Bank Syz Ltd. It is not intended for distribution to, publication, provision or use by individuals or legal entities that are citizens of or reside in a state, country or jurisdiction in which applicable laws and regulations prohibit its distribution, publication, provision or use. It is not directed to any person or entity to whom it would be illegal to send such marketing material. This document is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer, solicitation or recommendation for the subscription, purchase, sale or safekeeping of any security or financial instrument or for the engagement in any other transaction, as the provision of any investment advice or service, or as a contractual document. Nothing in this document constitutes an investment, legal, tax or accounting advice or a representation that any investment or strategy is suitable or appropriate for an investor's particular and individual circumstances, nor does it constitute a personalized investment advice for any investor. This document reflects the information, opinions and comments of Bank Syz Ltd. as of the date of its publication, which are subject to change without notice. The opinions and comments of the authors in this document reflect their current views and may not coincide with those of other Syz Group entities or third parties, which may have reached different conclusions. The market valuations, terms and calculations contained herein are estimates only. The information provided comes from sources deemed reliable, but Bank Syz Ltd. does not guarantee its completeness, accuracy, reliability and actuality. Past performance gives no indication of nor guarantees current or future results. Bank Syz Ltd. accepts no liability for any loss arising from the use of this document.

Read More

Straight from the Desk

Syz the moment

Live feeds, charts, breaking stories, all day long.

Thinking out loud

Sign up for our weekly email highlighting the most popular posts.

Follow us

Thinking out loud

Investing with intelligence

Our latest research, commentary and market outlooks