What is Black Friday?
Black Friday, which falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving, is widely recognize as the start of the holiday shopping season. In the 2000s, It become a popular term because it was use on online shopping sites to rival physical store sales. The term was adopte by traditional retailers as well as online sellers across the country.
What does Black Friday mean?
Thanksgiving Day in the United States is on the fourth Thursday in November. Black Friday is the next most-popular shopping holiday of the year. Many retailers reserve their best sales and deepest discounts for this day.
This name also refers to the accounting term “in the red,” which is about profits. Many retailers make a profit during November and December, but they are losing most of the year (in red).
To extend the shopping day, retailers started moving the start time for their Black Friday sales from Friday morning into the evening to increase the popularity. This is done in 2014 and 2013. Some retailers go further and start Black sales on the Monday before Thanksgiving Day.
History and Origin
According to Philadelphia, the use of Friday as a name for the day following Thanksgiving began in the 1950s. Police officers used the term internally at the time to refer to a large number of pedestrians and cars that congested Philadelphia’s shopping districts every year. Accidents and violence were common among the cars and people that clogged Philadelphia’s shopping district every year. Every officer had to be present to manage the chaos and keep order.
In 1966, Earl Apfelbaum, a Philadelphia rare stamp dealer, published the first known use of Black Friday. The term was primarily use in Philadelphia until the 2000s. However, it did see some use in other areas in the 1980s.
Initial retailers refused to use the name, as black days of the week historically refer to adverse events. A few examples include:
- Black Monday, Oct. 19, 1987 – The Dow Jones index plunged 22 percent in one day.
- Black Thursday, Oct. 24, 1929 – The stock market crash is historically considered to be the beginning of the Great Depression.
- Black Friday, September 24, 1869 – The crash of the U.S. Gold market was the original Black Friday. Gold was one of the main trade markets at the time. Investors from all income levels were represented, and most went bankrupt.
Retailers decided to change the negative associations with Black. Accounting has traditionally shown business losses in red ink and profits or gains in black ink. Many retailers would be “in the red” after fall but would be “into the green” during the holiday shopping season.
Black Friday was rename “Black Friday” to create a positive association. This meaning was eventually accepted by shoppers and is now more popular than its 1950s origin.
Black Friday Deals and Online Shopping
Black Friday is a great time to buy consumer electronics such as computers, TVs, tablets, laptops, and gaming systems. Some shoppers will wait hours to get a great deal. Others prefer to shop online.
Online shoppers now have the option to take advantage of deals offered by retailers that start simultaneously with in-store sales. Online shoppers may be able to get different door-buster deals from stores that offer limited quantities of door-buster discounts.
Cyber Monday was born out of the desire to avoid long lines or crowds. Cyber Monday, which is Monday immediately following, is dedicate to online shoppers. There are special deals on certain shopping sites every hour. Cyber Monday deals often start earlier than Black Friday deals. It’s a good idea for online shoppers to shop around and regularly check their favorite sites for new deals.
Green Monday has been add to the holiday shopping season’s list of special deals days. It’s the second Monday of December, and it aims to attract shoppers who still have Christmas gifts to buy online and in-store.