Not so Black Friday in Pakistan
Different name, same shopping practices
Black Friday is the busiest day for shopping around the world, but in Pakistan, it had to change colors to stay alive.
If you’re fond of the Americans and their lifestyle, you probably know what Black Friday is. The day after Thanksgiving Day in America, or the fourth Friday of November, is informally called Black Friday. It marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It was an American concept but has been adopted globally. It is the busiest day for shopping around the world and people line up outside their favorite stores and malls to avail the insane discounts offered on their favorite products.
Pakistan arrived a bit late to the Black Friday saga. Black Friday deals in Pakistan started to appear around 2015, when daraz.pk, Pakistan’s biggest online store, partnered with the money transfer service Easypaisa to introduce the concept with discounted offers and deals on their website. It was received well and many sellers followed the trend. By November 2016, the trend caught on and Black Friday deals were everywhere and people were enjoying the discounts offered on different products.
A petition was filed against the celebration of Black Friday this year, in Islamabad’s High Court. The petitioner asked the judges to decide whether the campaign should be outlawed in the country, as the term Black Friday means ‘ill-fated or black day’, and is contrary to the Islamic teachings. The IHC was moved to ban the discount sale festival and the Federal Government was made a party to it. IHC wrote a letter to the President, Prime Ministers and all provincial Chief Ministers to uphold the band and discourage the promotion of western culture in the country. As expected, social media didn’t hold back on the topic
— Raheel Ahsan (@Raheel15) November 26, 2016
— Saima Ajram (@SaimaAjram) November 24, 2017
To all those using Twitter .. eating McDonald’s.. watching Hollywood.. wearing jeans and T shirt .. and worried why they call it #BlackFriday .. it should be #BlessedFriday or #WhiteFriday…. pic.twitter.com/0HyPhIhGvN
— MM Haider (@Mursalan) November 23, 2017
— Hafizullah (@HafizullaM) November 24, 2017
— Burair Ali Hussain (@BurairAli) November 23, 2017
However, many brands were already aware of the backlash Black Friday could receive and decided to keep the discounted offers and deals on this day, but with a change in the color or the name of the day. Homeshopping.pk introduced ‘White Friday’, mistore.pk introduced ‘Orange Friday’, and many other major brands changed Black Friday to ‘Blessed Friday’. Shopping Malls and Outlet Stores were crowded with people throughout the day, with people trying to avail the discounted deals on their favorite products.