Just what is Black Friday?
To understand it, we need to look at the American national holiday of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving takes place on the fourth Thursday of November and marks the beginning of the holiday season in the U.S.
The term “Black Friday” was first coined in Philadelphia by the State Police Department there and was used to originally describe the heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday had been used before the 1960s and its use spread throughout the U.S. around 1975 and onward.
It had been seen as busy shopping day during the 1960s and stretching into the 2000s. Thus, over the years, another explanation was offered: retailers operated at a financial loss from January through November or “in the red” as it was known. And “Black Friday” indicated when they turned a profit or “in the black”. A term that started off with a negative connotation eventually went on to become a positive. This is the “Black Friday” we’ve come to hear about as we browse online stores.
Many retailers in the States were commonly known to open as early as 06:00 in the morning. But since 2011, stores such as Macy’s, Walmart, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Bealls went even further by opening as early as 05;00, even 04:00! Offering deals and promotions to early shoppers hoping to grab bargains for Christmastime has become something of a tradition in America. Even UK and Irish retailers, both on the streets and online have adopted this shopping experience craze.