Even though Brazil does not celebrate Thanksgiving, we are very much into Black Friday. Local retailers noticed that the American shopping holiday sparked interest here and decided to imitate their neighbors to the north in 2010. That year marked the very first Brazilian Black Friday.
The first to import the American tradition was a website called “Busca Descontos,” which aggregates coupons for discounts in Brazil’s top e-commerce stores. Only 50 retailers joined in, which explains the paltry results: the first Brazilian Black Friday raised roughly BRL 3 million (about USD 800,000).
The following year, supermarket chain Extra decided to extend special offers to physical stores, which essentially made the consumption holiday really begin. Sales reached BRL 100 million. The imported custom, it seemed, opened up a new window of opportunity.
Everything for half of double the price
But novelties can also bring out the worst in people. Soon, opportunist retailers realized they could use the brouhaha to scam consumers. Retailers would dramatically raise their prices in the weeks leading up to the big day, and then offer “magic” discounts of up to 70 percent. This nasty practice was so widespread that Brazilians jokingly referred to the promotions as: “Everything for half of double the price.” The holiday was renamed “Black Fraud”.