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The origins of Black Friday

The term was made-up by the overworked Philadelphia police officers.

  • In the 1950s, crowds of shoppers and travelers flooded Philadelphia the day after Thanksgiving.
  • Philadelphia stores hosted major sales that day, but the city also hosted the Army-Navy football game on Saturday of the same weekend.
  • Because of the crowds, traffic cops were required to work 12-hour shifts, and they were not allowed to take the day off.
  • Over time, the annoyed and fatigued officers started to refer to this dreaded workday as "Black Friday."
  • The term became popular and spread to store salespeople who used "Black Friday” to describe the long lines and general chaos they had to deal with on that day.

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How Black Friday evolved

  • Black Friday become the shopping phenomenon event it is today in the 2000s when Black Friday was officially designated the biggest shopping day of the year.
  • Until then, that title had gone to the Saturday before Christmas.
  • Today, Black Friday is becoming an increasingly le...

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Black Friday has two relevant meanings

Black Friday has two relevant meanings

  • In history, Black Friday was a stock market disaster that happened on September 24, 1869, when, after a period of uncontrolled speculation, the price of gold crashed, and the markets crashed.
  • The contemporary meaning refers to the day after the U.S. Thanksg...

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Cyber Monday competition

  • For online stores, a similar tradition to Black Friday has arisen on the Monday following Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday is seen as the unofficial start of the online holiday shopping season.
  • The idea is that consumers return to work after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, ready to sta...

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Black Friday and retail spending

  • Retailers may spend an entire year planning their Black Friday sales. They use this event as their chance to offer special prices on overstock inventory and discounts on seasonal items, such as typical holiday gifts.
  • Retailers also offer significant discoun...

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"In the Black"

There is a theory stating that, when it comes to "Black Friday", the term "black" refers to being profitable, which comes from the old bookkeeping practice of recording profits in black ink and losses in red ink.

Retail businesses should be able to sell enough on t...

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The economic significance of Black Friday

  • The sales registered on Black Friday are frequently seen as a litmus test for the overall economic situation of the country and a way for economists to assess the confidence of the average American.
  • Those who follow the Keynesian hypothesis​ that spending d...

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"Many people are in the dark when it comes to money, and I'm going to turn on the lights. " ~ Suze Orman

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Why Black Friday Is “Black”

Black Friday wasn’t a great day for the police departments in mid-20th-century Philadelphia. By the 1960s, locals had taken to calling the chaotic day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday.”

In 1950s Philadelphia, Thanksgiving weekend was a mob scene. The A...

The real origin of Black Friday

  • 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...

The wholesome story of Black Friday

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 ...

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