Black Friday vs White Friday: Difference and Comparison

Who doesn’t like to shop? Whether it be for our basic needs or just for satisfying our cravings and desires, one turns to shopping.

And there is no better time to go shopping than when there is a sale going on, especially on one’s favorite commodities! Black Friday and White Friday are two of the biggest such days. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Black Friday originates in the United States and occurs on the day after Thanksgiving, marking the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
  2. White Friday is a shopping event in the Middle East inspired by Black Friday but held at a different time of the year.
  3. Both events offer significant discounts and promotions, encouraging consumers to shop and boosting retail sales.

Black Friday vs White Friday

The difference between Black Friday and White Friday is that while the place of origin of Black Friday is the USA, on the other hand, White Friday is mostly celebrated in the Middle East. White Friday, simply put, is the Middle-East’s equivalent of the extravagant sales that go out in the United States during Black Friday.

Black Friday vs White Friday

The term Black Friday refers to the Friday after the festival of Thanksgiving. It marks the start of a traditional sale all over the United States.

On Black Friday, both online and offline stores throughout the country put up their items at ridiculous discounts and see a huge influx of customers. 

White Friday is the Black Friday of the Middle East. White Friday also occurs on the Friday following the West’s Thanksgiving festival.

But the White Friday traditionally lasts for four days, at the end of the month of November. The best deals in the Arab mercantile world go out on this day.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Black Friday White Friday 
Main area of Celebration/Occurrence USA and some other Western countries Middle-Eastern countries 
Date The Friday after Thanksgiving The Friday after Thanksgiving 
Longevity of the Sale Deals and discounts may last for a minute or a week, but traditionally a one-day eventTraditionally lasts for 4 days 
First Usage of the Term The term Black Friday was first used in 1951 First White Friday Sale was in 2014 
Name Signification Black signifies profit in sale prices, as compared to red which signifies loss Friday is the day of prayers and white is a holy color in Islam 

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is a term used for the Friday after the festival of Thanksgiving. It falls in the last week of November.

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On this day, stores across the United States offer huge discounts on all their products and open their stores at odd times. It traditionally marks the shopping season up to Christmas.  

The origin of Black Friday has a few theories. It is believed to signify the gold market crash in the US in 1869.

Another theory suggests its origins in 1961 when Philadelphia police called the day after Thanksgiving ‘black Friday’ due to the traffic-clogged streets in the shopping season.  

Thanksgiving is officially celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November, owing to an official proclamation by the then President of the USA, Franklin Roosevelt.

The busiest shopping day of the year, the day after Thanksgiving gained popularity as Black Friday in the late decades of the 20th century.  

What started as purely a Western culture, Black Friday today is a yearly occurrence throughout the world.

Not just stores in the United States, but both online and offline stores of various platforms put up a sale on their items for the duration of Black Friday, and even beyond.

It has become more of a global event now, with shoppers sitting in anticipation for months for the great sales on Black Friday.

black friday

What is White Friday?

White Friday is the equivalent of Black Friday in the Middle East. Like Black Friday, it also occurs on the Friday following Thanksgiving, in the last week of November, and traditionally goes on for four days.

The concept of White Friday was developed for the first time in 2014. Ronaldo Mouchawar witnessed the Black Friday sales in the US when he was studying there.

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He saw the phenomenon of the huge discounts going live on Black Friday and the effect it had on the American shoppers.

He introduced a similar concept in the Arab markets as CEO and co-founder of Souq, one of the biggest e-commerce websites in the Middle East. In 2014, launched its own version of Black Friday as White Friday.

It was a huge success, as the deals and discounts on the products resonated with the Middle-Eastern market. Due to the huge amount of sales, it was stretched to four days instead of one and has remained so since then.

White Friday sales started out with Souq targeting the bulk of the Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and UAE. These slowly expanded to engulf most of the Middle East.

Today, even countries like Pakistan, which are not in direct contact with Souq, have adopted the tradition of White Friday.

Main Differences Between Black Friday and White Friday

  1. Black Friday started in the Western countries of the USA, Canada, and Mexico. White Friday is mostly confined to Middle East and other Islamic nations.
  2. Black Friday has existed since the late 20th century. White Friday is relatively very new, existing for less than a decade.
  3. The ‘black’ in Black Friday signifies profits in sales. White signifies purity and Friday is a holy prayer day for Muslims, hence White Friday.
  4. While Black Friday lasts for one day traditionally, White Friday goes on for four days.
  5. Black Friday sales target audience all over the world in today’s era, whereas White Friday is finetuned to cater more to the Middle-eastern market.
Difference Between Black Friday and White Friday

Last Updated : 15 July, 2023

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