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Black Friday - An Event in France?

Discover the origin of Black Friday and how it takes place in France, as well as in Provence.

Black Friday - An Event in France?
Virginie In Provence ready for sales.

I. Black Friday in Provence: What is Black Friday?

A. Black Friday in one sentence

In a sentence, Black Friday is a commercial event that takes place after Thanksgiving in the United States. It is one of the most important sales days of the year for many retailers.

B. More about Black Friday

Black Friday offers significant discounts and promotions in many physical and online stores. Sellers often provide special offers, significant discounts on various products, and flash sales to attract customers. Some offers can be very attractive, resulting in significant crowds in stores.

C. Black Friday Around the World

Over the years, Black Friday has become popular in other countries, and many merchants worldwide have adopted this concept to offer exceptional discounts to their customers. However, some criticisms have been raised regarding the excessive aspect of this event and the crowds that can sometimes lead to disrespectful or dangerous behavior.

II. Why is it called "Black Friday"?

The origin of the term "Black Friday" is not clearly established, and there are several theories about it:

  • Financial Theory: According to this theory, the term "Black Friday" comes from the financial domain, where accounts were traditionally kept manually. In accounting, losses were usually recorded in red, and profits in black. Black Friday would be the day when merchants go from "red" (deficit) to "black" (profit) due to massive sales and profits made on that day.

  • Traffic Theory: Another theory suggests that the term "Black Friday" comes from the significant traffic congestion in streets and shopping malls due to the crowds of consumers heading to stores to take advantage of the sales. The streets becoming "black" with people would have given rise to the term "Black Friday."

  • Slavery Theory: A less widespread but significant theory associates the term "Black Friday" with the sale of slaves before the American Civil War. This theory, however, is criticized as it lacks strong historical evidence to support it.

Regardless of the exact origin of the term, Black Friday has now become a major commercial tradition, not only in the United States but also in many other countries around the world.

Black Friday - An Event in France?
Shop window of a shop on sale

III. Black Friday in France: How does it go?

Black Friday has become a significant commercial event in France, including in Provence, although it is not as deeply rooted as in the United States. Black Friday takes place every year on the last Friday of November, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. However, it is increasingly common for promotions to extend throughout the weekend and sometimes even for the entire week.

In France, similar to the United States, Black Friday is characterized by numerous promotional offers and discounts in physical and online stores. Retailers offer significant sales on a wide range of products, including clothing, electronics, household items, and toys.

IV. Black Friday in Provence: How does it go?

In Provence, Black Friday is also enthusiastically observed by consumers and sellers. Major cities in Provence, such as Marseille, Nice, and Aix-en-Provence, usually experience increased traffic in shopping centers and commercial streets during this period. However, it still remains a mystery to older generations. For example, don't ask my grandmother what it's about!

V. Black Friday in France: A Controversy?

Black Friday in France has also sparked debates about overconsumption and the environmental impact of impulsive purchases. Some critics believe that the event may encourage a culture of overconsumption, which can have negative consequences on the environment and local small businesses.

In response to these concerns, some retailers and organizations promote more sustainable alternatives, such as "Green Friday" or "Solidarity Friday," which encourage consumers to make responsible purchases and support social and environmental causes.

V. Black Friday’s vocabulary

  • Reduction (Réduction) : A decrease in the price of a product or service during Black Friday.

  • Discount (Rabais) : A reduction in price offered during this promotional period.

  • Promotion (Promotion) : Special offer to attract customers and stimulate sales.

  • Sale (Solde) : Period during which retailers offer significant discounts on their products.

  • Flash Sale (Offre Flash) : Limited-time discount, usually only a few hours.

  • Lightning Deal (Vente Éclair) : Exceptional promotional offer lasting only a few minutes.

  • Promo Code (Code Promo) : Code to use during online payment to get a discount.

  • Free Shipping (Livraison Gratuite) : Shipping of the product without additional charges for the customer.

  • Shopping Cart (Panier d'Achat) : List of products selected by the customer for online purchase.

  • Secure Payment (Paiement Sécurisé) : Online payment method ensuring the security of financial data.

  • Return and Refund (Retour et Remboursement) : Policy allowing customers to return a defective or unwanted product to get a refund.

  • Wishlist (Liste de Souhaits) : List prepared in advance by customers with products they want to buy during Black Friday.

  • Ethical Friday (Vendredi Solidaire) : Alternative to Black Friday encouraging donations to charitable organizations instead of excessive shopping.

  • Green Friday (Green Friday) : Alternative initiative to Black Friday promoting sustainability and responsible consumption.

If you come to my place for an immersion stay in Provence, I will make you discover the different aspects of Provence: the landscapes and the scents, but also the culture, the gastronomy... while helping you to improve your French. See you soon in Provence!

Virginie In Provence


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