As we know Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. It is the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season. What some of us don’t know is why it is called Black Friday. Well, it’s always a Friday because Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November and Black Friday is the day after it. The ‘Black’ label has several meanings.
What does ‘Black Friday’ mean?
The word ‘Black’ has both positive and negative connotations. The most popular theories are:
- The police named it ‘Black Friday’ because of the mayhem caused by so many people out shopping both on foot and by car. There were huge numbers of accidents recorded on the day. Massive traffic jams, overcrowded footpaths and mobbed stores. People get very passionate and tempers have been known to erupt…
- Store owners referred to ‘Black Friday’ as the day the stores accounts moved from red into black. Traditionally store ledgers were maintained by the accountant and filled in with ink – red for loss, black for profit.
- ‘Black-Friday-itis’ is the term coined by employers in the 1950s because so many staff phoned in sick the day after Thanksgiving celebrations. Many wanted the four-day weekend uninterrupted by work.
When it all began
Black Friday has been an event in retailer’s calendars since the late 19th century. It was boosted in 1924 by the first Macy’s sponsored annual Thanksgiving Parade in New York. The parade became popular in the roaring 1920s when most of the employees of the retail stores, who were immigrants, wanted to celebrate the traditions of their new country in a way they would in Europe.
Black Friday is the official unofficial opening of the Christmas shopping season. Although it is not a state recognised holiday but is an unofficial holiday for many companies, with the exception of retailers. Many retailers have Santa Claus start his seasons’ residency on Black Friday.
History has seen retailers open the doors as early as 4 am or 5am. People have camped outside the stores overnight to be sure they are first in the queue. Electronics and toys are the most sought after items, though all products are heavily discounted. In the present day of technology many people choose to shop online. Emails and ads are noticeable up to a month before Thanksgiving.
The Thanksgiving weekend is a four-day weekend: Thanksgiving on the Thursday, Black Friday on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday to recover!
The 21st century saw Black Friday being embraced across the world. The discounts available to US citizens caused a flurry of shoppers to America for the Thanksgiving weekend, especially for Black Friday. Online shopping has helped introduce the whole concept of Black Friday to many shoppers across the globe.
The ‘Black Friday’ label has been associated with the kick-off of the Christmas shopping season. This is one of the main reasons the trend has taken off in Europe. Christmas shopping is the strongest trading segment in the retailers’ year. So why wouldn’t they do the same as their counter-parts in America?
Customers are only too delighted to benefit from the hugely marked down prices on Black Friday. People manage to buy expensive, quality gifts at knock-down prices. Stay tuned for our Black Friday discounts across our online store; I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
- Kevin Jones