“Black Friday” is the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States. It is celebrated the day after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday in November and therefore Black Friday is a day that many people have off of work. You may know that Black Friday is the day where stores have many sales and open extremely early, or sometimes even the night before. However, there are some facts about Black Friday that you may not be aware of:
- “Black Friday” was originally a derogatory term. Typically, a day that is deemed a “black” day is a bad one, and Black Friday was no different. The term gained popularity in Philadelphia and referred to the traffic and congestion of holiday shoppers. Now the term is seen as more neutral, and even a happy day for retailers who hope to make large profits. Stores tried to spin the term to mean that they were now “in the black,” meaning making a profit, but that is not the original historic origin of the term.
- It wasn’t until the 2000s that Black Friday became the biggest shopping day of the year. Previously, the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States was the Saturday before Christmas, but for the last fifteen years the sales and extended hours have made the day after Thanksgiving a more popular one for shopping.
- Black Friday has led to many injuries and even a few deaths. People line up for hours outside of stores waiting to get in to be the first to get limited quantity deep discounts. Sometimes when the doors open there is a rush and people have been injured and even crushed to death. More and more stores are putting more focus on security and planning to make sure that there are not more injuries or deaths.
- Wal-Mart has more people shop there on Thanksgiving and Black Friday than Disneyworld has visitors in a whole year. It is estimated that Wal-Mart has over 20 million shoppers on Thanksgiving/Black Friday and Disney World in Florida has about 18.5 million visitors each year.
- It has expanded greatly in the last decade. Stores started opening earlier and earlier on Black Friday and now many of them are even open on Thanksgiving. Some stores open as early as 3pm on Thanksgiving Day. Along with Black Friday there is now also Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving and cyber Monday focuses on online sales. Black Friday has even become international and now it is celebrated in other countries.
Whether you “celebrate” Black Friday or ignore it, it has become a part of American culture and is celebrated every year.