Who doesn’t like to shop? Whether it be for our basic needs or just for satisfying our cravings and desires, one often 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.
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.
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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 generally 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.
|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 event||Traditionally 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 generally falls in the last week of November.
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.
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.
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, Souq.com 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
- 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.
- Black Friday has existed since the late 20th century. White Friday is relatively very new, existing for less than a decade.
- The ‘black’ in Black Friday signifies profits in sales. White signifies purity and Friday is a holy prayer day for Muslims, hence White Friday.
- While Black Friday lasts for one day traditionally, White Friday goes on for four days.
- 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.
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Chara Yadav holds MBA in Finance. Her goal is to simplify finance-related topics. She has worked in finance for about 25 years. She has held multiple finance and banking classes for business schools and communities. Read more at her bio page.