What is Black Friday? Well, it’s one of the biggest shopping events of the year. Dating back to the 1950s, Black Friday has gained fame for the big sales put on by retailers and the crowds of shoppers that flock to stores to get their hands on them. Though originally an American event (it happens the day after American Thanksgiving), Black Friday has been gaining popularity around the globe in recent years.

What is Black Friday doing in Canada?

Taking place on American Thanksgiving, our southern neighbours’ favourite shopping event has been slowly making its way across the border over the past number of years. Really, it’s easy to see why. Between the big discounts and awesome timing, Black Friday is the perfect occasion to cross off most of the items on your holiday gift list without having to take out a second mortgage.

Accounting for nearly $3.5 billion worth of sales in 2016, Black Friday is by far and away the biggest shopping event of the year in the US. It’s not shocking that they buy so much stuff. Taking place just about a month before Christmas, it falls at the ideal time for shoppers. By letting you cross off all the stuff on your gift list without breaking the bank, we shouldn’t be too shocked that it caught on.

This Black Friday 2017, Canada is going to get to experience the craziness yet again. That begs the question, where exactly does this unique tradition come from?

A short history of Black Friday

While the concept of Black Friday goes back to the 1950s, it wasn’t until the 1980s that it began to really gain momentum. Since then, retailers and shoppers have continued to embrace the concept. They’ve embraced it so much that it has become a fixture of the holiday season. In the 2000’s, many retailers started taking it up a notch by offering increasingly impressive deals. Unsurprisingly, that turned the day into a true shopping extravaganza. Now stores give us extra early opening times, special door crasher deals, and flash sales. As Black Friday continues to grow bigger (and crazier) each year, many American retailers take advantage of every last second of the day by opening their doors and starting their online sales right at midnight. It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Black Friday Canada has continued to grow in popularity as well.

The midnight openings and crazy crowds are the parts of Black Friday that are generally shown on TV around the world. From shoppers lining up in the middle of the night in the freezing cold to the shocking tales of insane crowds in the stores once they finally open their doors, shoppers around the world have looked on in fascination at Americans and, to a similar extent, the impressive deals they manage to pick up.

Yet stats show that Black Friday has also taken off online. We found that many retailers actually offer even better deals online than they do in-store (For real. We even wrote another blog post about it).

And what is Cyber Monday?

Of course, we can’t forget about Cyber Monday. What’s that? It’s an online-only spin-off event that happens on the Monday after Black Friday. Whether intentional or not, it has turned the entire weekend into a full-on shopping festival. Cyber Monday’s rise in popularity has been meteoric (probably due to the fact everyone has a smartphone nowadays). Because of this, the end of November has become one of the year’s best times to score some awesome deals.

Canada gets its act together

In the past, Canadians had to venture south of the border if they wanted to get a piece of the Black Friday action. Otherwise, they’d have to tack international shipping and duty fees onto their online orders. The good news is that things in 2017 are totally different: Canadian retailers have pulled it together and are now offering more and more deals that hold their own against the huge discounts you see in the States. It’s safe to say that there’s now a Black Friday Canada!

While we’ve come across some adventurous shoppers who have planned trips to the US during the (American) holiday weekend, there’s really no longer any need to be on American soil to get some incredible deals. Retailers across the Canada have jumped on the bandwagon and started offering their own awesome Black Friday deals. Here, check em out…