Do You Know Why This ‘Manic’ Shopping Day Is Called Black Friday?
It has come to signify the biggest shopping day of the year and a boon to retailers as it brings out shoppers in their droves and produces them exceptional profits. Black Friday originated in Philadelphia in the early 1960s, although the term was used initially by Philadelphia police officers to describe the disruption occasioned by the heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic in its downtown shopping district on (Friday) the day after Thanksgiving; it wasn’t long before its use widened. But why is it called Black Friday?
By 1975 Black Friday had spread to many other locations and grew to focus its application more on the great sales opening the holiday shopping season. The term was not intended as one of endearment but rather a bothersome day that jangled the nerves of the Police Department, bus drivers and merchants alike. However, both the term and tradition became so ingrained in the culture on our shopping calendars that shoppers and retailers alike began accommodating it with earlier and ever earlier store openings.
I know in our household that we still make plans for this day of “fantastic shopping opportunities”. Not only can you get most of your holiday shopping done, but you could also plan strategic purchases and stock up on the basics.
What Is The Future of Black Friday?
Today, Black Friday is still going strong. This year it falls on November 28th, and in 2015 this celebration of shopping will come on November 27th. This annual observation is also practiced in Canada and the lure of Black Friday sales has in recent years even been exported to countries outside of the North American continent. And with the emergence of online selling (helping you avoid the crowds – not to mention the danger that sometimes attend the increasingly aggressive shoppers) countries like the United Kingdom and even Brazil as well as some online retail giants have seen their holiday revenues double compared to previous years.
The competition for the yearend dollar is of major importance as many retailers report that the revenue from Black Friday activity will oftentimes put their balance sheets ‘into the black’ and compensate for lower performing quarters.
I would think that as long as there is shopping to be had and bargains to be sought, concentrated promotional days like Black Friday (and even Black Thursday and Saturday) will continue to be a part of a bargain hunters calendar of events.
The drive for more customers and greater sales have prompted many competitors to begin their Black Friday sales early by opening up on Thursday evening to get a jump on the selling season (including some of the big name retailers). As recently as November 2012 media sources were reporting “How ‘Black Friday’ Morphed Into ‘Gray Thursday’.
So, from several perspectives you can see why it is called Black Friday and may in the future welcome it’s new sibling, Black Thursday!
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