The wholesome story of Black Friday

The wholesome story of Black Friday is that happy shoppers would flood local shops and malls the day after Thanksgiving, and the extra spending would put retailers "in the black" for the year.

The Friday after Thanksgiving was named "Black Friday" and it became the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.

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Black Friday History: The Dark True Story Behind The Name

huffpost.com

  • Before retail repackaged Black Friday, it had a more sinister meaning. The earliest use of the phrase Black Friday dates to 1869. It was the day gold prices plummeted and caused a market crash. The economic effects lasted for years.
  • Traffic police coined the phrase Black Friday around the 1950s in Philadelphia. It was used to describe the traffic jams and intense crowding of the downtown retail stores that occurred on the Friday after Thanksgiving day.
  • Local police were not the only ones who dreaded the day. The ratio of salespeople to customers added to the problem as sales associates frequently called in sick on this day to extend their Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

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Retailers wanted to put a positive spin on the gloomy term "Black Friday."

One well-known PR executive recommended adopting a positive approach that would convert Black Friday to Big Friday. The name didn't stick, but a positive spin on the day eventually paid off.

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