Created in the United States back in the 1950s, Black Friday has become one of the most important shopping dates of the year. Traditionally, the consumerist extravaganza is held on the fourth Friday of November – the day after Thanksgiving in America.
In Brazil, however, retailers are hoping to push the date to September. Business owners claim that having a date of big discounts this close to Christmas has been compromising sales in December for the past three years. As Brazil is still recovering from a deep recession, consumers are eager for any kind of price reduction they can find. That’s why November results have been better than December’s since 2014.
Last year, the Christmas season was the second-worst since 2000, with an 11 percent drop in revenue. Meanwhile, though, sales in November went up by 4 percent.
Why moving Black Friday to September could backfire
Fabio Pina, an economist at São Paulo’s Commerce Federation, doesn’t agree with changing Black Friday. He pointed out to the BBC that during this date, most purchases are for value-added products, which normally account for 3% of retailers’ revenues. “People are buying not because of the Christmas spirit, but rather because workers are entitled to a 13th salary every year,” says Pina. That gives them more purchasing power.
Black Friday in Brazil
The “holiday” caught on in Brazil back in 2010. At first, it was more of a scam to trick consumers. Retailers would dramatically raise their prices in the weeks leading up to the big day and then offer “magic” discounts. This practice was so widespread that Brazilians jokingly nicknamed the promotions “everything for half of the double.” In 2013, Forbes called the date “a means for retailers to fraud eager shoppers, happy to participate in an American tradition that is still as foreign to them as the moon.” Ouch.
With time, though, consumers have become more vigilant – and are now forcing companies to play a fairer game. At the same time, there are a few websites that compare prices as expose scams.