The busiest shopping day of the year, according to many people, is not Christmas Day or even Cyber Monday. It’s Black Friday. But where did this custom begin and how big is it? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding Black Friday.
How did Black Friday become so popular?
It’s difficult to pinpoint when the day after Thanksgiving became a shopping frenzy, but it dates back to the late 19th century. Store-sponsored Thanksgiving parades were widespread at that time, and when Santa Claus showed up at the conclusion of the procession, the holiday shopping season had begun.
In those days, the holiday shopping season did not begin until after Thanksgiving, thus no businesses would advertise holiday discounts or aggressively seek consumers until the following Friday. As a result, when the floodgates opened that Friday, it became a major event.
Why is it called Black Friday?
The term “Black Friday” is derived from the fact that retailers use today’s big receipts as their chance to “get in the black” and become profitable for the year, according to most individuals. The terms’ first recorded uses are not quite as positive, however.
According to experts, the term “Black Friday” originated in Philadelphia in the mid-1960s. In a recent interview with Betway, Bob Phibbs explains “The streets and department stores of downtown Philadelphia were mobbed. By the ‘80s, it was an urban legend that it was the day retailers moved from reading losses to black ink profits. The entire period from Black Friday through to December can actually be a time that erases all losses from the previous three quarters and makes a business profitable for the year end.”
Is Black Friday still popular?
Black Friday is still a vital shopping day, but it is no longer the most important. It’s also incorrect to say that Black Friday is when the official holiday shopping season really begins.
That is, in part, due to the increasingly fierce, even desperate competitive environment of the retail business. In a world where consumers can shop whenever and wherever they choose, subscription services like Amazon Prime attract opportunistic buyers who might not have bought during the traditional holiday shopping season. Given the increased competition from online-only shops and nontraditional platforms like eBay, brick-and-mortar stores have less of an incentive to invest in tentpole “event shopping” days. They’re better off spreading out their discounts over several days.
Cyber Monday, which was founded to compete with Black Friday, became the first serious test of Black Friday’s dominance. It’s rapidly growing in popularity and importance.
Black Friday has grown to be a bigger day than Thanksgiving weekend in recent years. Many shops now advertise “Black Friday week” deals, which begin as early as the Sunday before Thanksgiving and last for up to a week or more. Black Friday has become a major shopping day, but thanks to multi-day sales, it’s also a great opportunity to save money by avoiding the crowds and having early closures.