Online vendor introduces ‘White Friday’ because ‘Friday is never black’

Published: November 23, 2015
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

When online marketplace Daraz and Kaymu — both subsidiaries of German parent company Rocket Internet — decided to launch the Black Friday phenomenon in Pakistan, they probably did not expect competition in the form of ‘White Friday’.

Home Shopping, another online vendor, jumped on the bandwagon, and differentiated their offer by calling it ‘White Friday’.

“Because in Pakistan, Friday is never black,” Home Shopping’s White Friday page reads. The vendor has also set up a Facebook event page that invokes Friday’s religious significance in Islam.

“In the Muslim world, Friday is the day of prayer, the day of gathering, the day off, the family day, the day of joy, so surely … our Friday is WHITE!” the event description reads towards the end.

Some commented on the page accusing the company of using religious sentiment to promote business. “Well you want to compete with Daraz.pk come up with better deals not the lame lines ‘White Friday’” one user commented. “‪#‎GrowUp and don’t involve religion into your pecuniary lust. ‪#‎PoorMarketing.”

While the company’s marketing leaves a lot to be desired, owner Shayan Tahir is quite straightforward. “We wanted to do something different,” he says of the promotion, adding that the intention was to do something ‘unique’ and ‘fresh’, not to use religion.

“The promotion is on the same day as it is elsewhere,” Tahir adds, but since a ‘black’ day in our culture is reserved for tragic events, he says, it didn’t make sense to call it that.

That raises the question, why call it Black Friday when launching a promotional offer in Pakistan?

Daraz Head of Communications Saman Javed says Black Friday has become a global phenomenon. “Why should Pakistan not be part of such an incredible global trend?” she asks. “When it comes to sales and discounts, we’re no different, we are true bargain hunters.”

“It’s flattering to see others follow our footsteps,” she says of Home Shopping’s White Friday sale, adding that the magnitude of Daraz’s sale “is alarming for other companies and has convinced them that they are in serious trouble if they don’t follow suit.”

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Fast
    Nov 23, 2015 - 2:58PM

    loI am waiting who will launch red Friday after all it is Friday competition.Recommend

  • Ranjha
    Nov 23, 2015 - 4:07PM

    I have once order a mobile phone from Home Shopping. It was advertised as new however as it turned out to be a used one and also have a lot of flaws. For instance it microphone never worked. Poor service. I think through White Friday they will be able to sell a lot of broken stuff!Recommend

  • Nov 23, 2015 - 6:48PM

    I bought 3 or 4 years back Xperia Neo V from HomeShopping. I find out its the first-copy which they sold me for the price of original which was 21000 PKR. Recommend

  • Jalib
    Nov 23, 2015 - 8:19PM

    Aray Sahab, We aRe Pakistani’s……We Have our Own Culture and Traditions……Friday is the best day of our Week and it shouldn’t be Said to be a Black Day as Black is the Color of DarknesssRecommend

  • History
    Nov 23, 2015 - 8:36PM

    Please look up “Black Friday 1869” and laugh at yourselves for turning everything into religion and political just to boost your own agenda. Recommend

  • Point
    Nov 23, 2015 - 9:05PM

    IT’s good to see competition :D when there is a competition there is an advantage for consumers :)Recommend

  • Muhammad Sario
    Nov 23, 2015 - 9:43PM

    White Friday is good answer to Black Friday as “We don’t celebrate Black Friday here in Pakistan “. But let’s see, who wins.Recommend

  • Amit Hablani
    Nov 23, 2015 - 10:16PM

    Daraz is the market leader, they cant overtake their market share just by black marketing.Recommend

  • ajeet
    Nov 24, 2015 - 1:59AM

    It should be called as blood Friday as Muslims start all the violence after Friday sermons.Recommend

  • Yasir Khawaja
    Nov 24, 2015 - 11:35AM

    They just copied uae souq website. Even the timer clock is the same. Though i am not against the concept, but i really feel that Pakistan online retailers should come up with genuine mega sales instead of copying other websites and their products. Since the discounted products come from uae, it will take 2 weeks to reach pakistan defeating the entire purpose of prompt delivery and customer satisfaction. Recommend

  • Gemini
    Nov 25, 2015 - 2:12PM

    So now using Islam and Religious tactics to sell their stuff.Recommend

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