The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit. Ever since the start of the modern Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season.
In the 1960's, police in Philadelphia griped about the congested streets, clogged with motorists and pedestrians, calling it “Black Friday.” In a non-retail sense, it also describes a financial crisis of 1869: a stock market catastrophe set off by gold spectators who tried and failed to corner the gold market, causing the market to collapse and stocks to plummet.
Black Friday is a long day, with many retailers opening up at 5 am or even earlier to hordes of people waiting anxiously outside the windows. There are numerous doorbuster deals and loss leaders – prices so low the store may not make a profit - to entice shoppers. Most large retailers post their Black Friday ad scans, coupons and offers online beforehand to give consumers time to find out about sales and plan their purchases. Other companies take a different approach, waiting until the last possible moment to release their Black Friday ads, hoping to create a buzz and keep customers eagerly checking back for an announcement."
History of Black Friday from: https://blackfriday.com/pages/black-friday-history
As we picked up the last items for Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday evening, I heard people complaining about the shopping on Thanksgiving day but in the next breath, say how they "had" to come to get the best deal. I may upset you but it's your choice if you go to the sale. Personally, we don't shop on Thanksgiving because in an attempt to put first things first, we spend time with our family. If no one shops on Thanksgiving, retailers will go back to waiting for Black Friday, the way it has been for more than fifty years.
My heart breaks for the store employees who don't have a choice to work or not to work retail on Thanksgiving Day. For some, if they don't work, their family doesn't eat or have eat. Remember this as they ring up your $300 sale, as you save just as much, because they might be fighting back tears at how they could catch up bills or enjoy a feast of their own if they only had half that much money.
I enjoy Black Friday shopping yet this morning as we set our alarms for 5:30 a.m., we are still home because we know there aren't lines to wait in and the sale goes until 10 a.m., so why rush. I find the pre-Black Friday deals have decreased some of the Christmas excitement and tradition, at least for our family. I look forward to getting out today. There is no great deal we are hoping to get, well, other than the women's winter boots at Herb Philipsons in Oswego on Saturday for $20 because I don't have any. I'm sure my movie junkie family will find a couple movies left in the $2 and $4 bin at Walmart. My goal for the day, to enjoy time with my family.
Are you a Black Friday shopper? Why do you go? What is your favorite part of the day? Do you shop on Thanksgiving? What would happen if everyone sent retail a message by not shopping next Thanksgiving, do you think Black Friday lines would return or would everyone log online and limit socialization even more? Oh the questions buzzing in my brain and just 7 a.m.