ISLAMABAD - Black Friday, which some business people in Pakistan have renamed as Blessed Friday, is gaining popularity in the country and more and more business outlets are bringing down prices of their commodities up to 50 per cent even more on some items on the day.

Black Friday falls after the Thanksgiving Prayers on fourth Thursday of November in the United States and in rest of the world. This year Black or Blessed Friday will be falling on November 23.

Historically Black Friday, the last Friday of November, mainly kick-start the shopping for Christmas which remain in progress for almost a month and usually in America and rest of the Christian world the business community used to bring down their profit margin to minimal to facilitate people to join the Xmas celebrations.

It is Centuries-old practice in West, but for past few years the trend become popular here in Pakistan and more and more brands have started following the practice by slashing down prices of their goods to a considerable level.

Although the nomenclature ‘Black Friday’ has no religious connotation but some business people in Pakistan and Muslim World have re-coined it as ‘Blessed Friday’ probably keeping in view the reverence of the day ‘Friday’ for Muslims.

Historically speaking the term Black Friday was derived from the old accounting practices where the transactions in loss were written with red ink while the profit transactions were mentioned in black ink. As with the start of Xmas shopping the businesses saw boost so even those running their businesses in loss in earlier months witness profit and start using black ink as per the set accounting practice, so the word Black Friday was coined.

A trader dealing in garments business at Bank Road Rawalpindi Sadr said that for Western trends and days like Black Friday and Valentine Day become popular in Pakistan for past few years and the business community here are taking advantage of it as it used to give boost to their sales.

According to traders bodies representatives more and more business outlets, especially brands like Bonenza, Khaadi and ChenOne were taking full advantage of it and every year the number of business outlets joining the exercise of introducing sales on their items are multiplying.

It is interesting to note that the shoppers on Black Friday are mostly non-Christians as the offer of massive sales on items are irresistible, a resident of Satellite Town commented adding that due to the abnormal hike in the prices, especially garments, shoes and other things people used to wait for introducing of sales when the prices become relatively low and bring these items at affordable rates.

A new trend of online shopping was becoming popular nowadays and people, especially ladies, were doing online shopping but this trend is confined to big cities as most of the people selling online goods are not providing their services in small towns where dispatch charges are relatively high.

A housewife said that she had not good experience of online shopping as the products they displayed on their sites and the quality they claimed was usually not match the goods dispatched so she prefers to purchase things from local markets than going online shopping.

“In the absence of strong consumers’ protection laws and insufficient consumers’ courts, there is risk of online shopping as most of the time people selling goods online cheat you,” a college student commended on the basis of his experience when he delivered a low quality trousers against the one he had purchased online.

But on the other hand, many people saw online shopping convenient as save them time and from hassle of visiting overcrowded markets.

Be it a ‘Black Friday’ or a ‘Blessed Friday’ it is good as long as it would benefit the common customers who can purchase goods on much low prices on the day, commented a customer who used to purchase garments for his whole family on Black Friday.