This year, Black Friday falls on 24th November 2017. Most of us like this day because it is the best day to shop. It’s the best holiday if you like to shop. Let’s trace back to the origin of this holiday that is celebrated in many countries today and the number is on the rise. The day is considered as the busiest shopping day of the year. Stores open as early as 4 AM. Some even open at midnight to offer promotional sales.
So why is the day called ‘Black Friday’, why not Red or Blue? Well the term was coined by Philadelphia police or bus drivers to describe the traffic observed a day after Thanksgiving. Streets were clogged with traffic caused by people heading to shopping stores. However, businesses did not like this negative explanation to the term and later, a new explanation came to be.
Sale day in other words, Black Friday is followed every year with multiple controversies. Most of them associated with lack of staff in stores, exposing them to over shifts, and rise in visitors’ violence. The day comes after Thanksgiving Day which is celebrated every fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Though not an official holiday, California and few other states in the US observe Black Friday as a holiday, which is followed by two weekends offs leading to a four-day shopping weekend.
The approaching Monday is coined as Cyber Monday. It is another shopping day for those who still wants to shop or didn’t find what they were looking for over the weekend. However, on Cyber Monday people shop online. This means people can make purchases from their offices and homes. Cyber Monday was the busiest day of 2014 with $2 billion sales in desktop online spending which was higher by 17% from the previous year.
Black Friday indicates the beginning of Christmas shopping season. During the 19th and 20th Century, stores would advertise Christmas shopping on the occasion of Thanksgiving. Back then, Thanksgiving parades sponsored by shopping stores were used to advertise Christmas shopping. Many people view this practice as inappropriate and it became socially unacceptable. But soon, people came up with the idea to start advertising Christmas shopping after Thanksgiving Day. It is now fashionable ‘not’ to advertise Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving.
The story has a capitalist angle too. Many believe that stores wanted the Christmas shopping season to stay on for longer. To offer a solution to this, in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November instead of the last Thursday. This extended the shopping season by a week. Later, an act of Congress reinforced this change.
Are you up for some Black Friday sales online now? Watch this space to stay tuned for some great Black Friday deals in the coming weeks.