The History of Black Friday

Remember when all the deals on that Friday after Thanksgiving were called “Day After Thanksgiving” sales?

Black Friday has changed over the years. The term, meaning businesses go from “in the red” to “in the black”, originated in Philadelphia in the 60’s, but spread throughout the US in the 70’s. The Philadelphia police coined the term to describe the out of control atmosphere of the crowds, but the term has now been used as a term of tentative endearment. Black Friday is the official kickoff of the Christmas shopping season. While the day has often been the benchmark for deals and spending sprees, it wasn’t until the 00’s that stores crept from 6:00AM openings to 5:00AM or 4:00AM. The ’10’s became the first time that stores opened at 12:00AM. It’s described as the busiest shopping day of the year, known for aggressive crowds and mob mentality.

Black Friday has inspired a sort of fandom of its own. There are the ones who brave the crowd every year and see waiting in line as a kind of tradition with store schedules and maps while others hunt for their deals whenever they want to find one.

In 2005, a Shop.org press release coined the phrase Cyber Monday for the online deals that flood e-commerce sites the Monday after Thanksgiving. Consumers spent $1.028 Billion online on Cyber Monday, the highest spending day of 2010 according to ComScore.

In 2010, small businesses launched a counterpart to Black Friday called Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday encourages shopping at brick and mortar establishments as opposed to the big box retail and department stores that benefit from Black Friday. American Express conceived of the holiday and promoted it across social media. Small Business Saturday isn’t limited to the Saturday after Thanksgiving. There are a few Small Business Saturdays throughout the year, often popping up as trends on Twitter when they occur.

The weekend after Thanksgiving launches the holiday shopping season.

Share your deals and Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday stories in the comments!

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Posted on November 26, 2012, in Global Biz, Internet, Market Trends and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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