What You Need To Know About Black Friday

Black Friday is commonly referred to as the day after the US Thanksgiving. But, what’s it really about and when did it begin?

What Is Black Friday?

The day after the US Thanksgiving (which is on a Thursday) is now considered to be the biggest shopping day of the year. But, it wasn’t always like this and it may not actually be as profitable as retailers market it to be. Here’s why.

Photo: freestocks 

Read: 3 Tips For Black Friday Shopping

What Is The History?

Black Friday as we know it today, wasn’t popularized until the 1960s. Here’s a fascinating brief history.

Black Friday Isn’t Named After The Money Made Every Year

The history of Black Friday and its name originated in the 1950s and was popularized in the 60s. this term was first used in Philadelphia, to explain the chaos that happened one day every year. The day after Thanksgiving was named ‘Black Friday’ by Philadelphians because police officers used this as a way to describe the state of the city as cars from the suburbs drove in, leaving the air black. Believe it or not, if we go back even further, this day (unnamed) is believed to have also been linked to a stock market crash related to gold.

Black Friday Originated In Philadelphia

It’s recorded in history that Philadelphia police battled the large crowds of those coming into the city to do their holiday shopping. In addition to the smoke and emissions darkening the air, long lines—of people and cars—plus an increase in job-related stress played into the naming of this day.

How Did The Name Catch On?

Outside of Philly, the name caught on by the 1980s. Marketing campaigns were launched across America. These influenced the public to believe that the name was created as a way to describe a business’ profit increase. I.e. going from negative or low funds “in the red” (bookkeeping reference) to “black” which indicates (also in bookkeeping) positive funds.

Why Do People Shop Black Friday?

As alluded to in the 80s, this was seen as retail’s biggest day of the year. It was the opportunity for stores to go from “in the red” to black. Over the decades, people have chosen to shop the day after Thanksgiving because stores market and promote the biggest deals. They promise consumers the lowest prices the store will offer throughout the year. Stores/brands show marked-down prices on items and offer bundles of products, deals, or other perks to incentivize shoppers.

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