What is Black Friday?
I remember the time when I first heard of the term – Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and I wondered – What is Black Friday? If you landed on this page, it looks like you are wondering the same thing too. I have learned much about Black Friday since those many years ago, and I am happy to share what I have learned with you.
In this article, I will explain What is Black Friday? How Did the Term Black Friday Come About? What Happens on Black Friday? Now, that we are in the age of the Internet, How is Black Friday transferred to the Internet?
So, let’s begin with What is Black Friday?
From the research that I have done, I have found out that Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the United States. After Thanksgiving, people start to shop for the Christmas season.
It is not an official holiday though. Initially, some states in the United States observed this day. Many employers started to give their employees the day off. Together with Thanksgiving and the weekend, people enjoyed a long four-day weekend. It is often referred to as the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Today, some states officially declare the Friday after Thanksgiving as an official public holiday. The states that do this are Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
And since 2003, Black Friday has become the busiest shopping day of the year.
How Did the Term Black Friday Come About?
So, how did the term Black Friday come about? I find it interesting how names are created. Do you? When I first heard of Black Friday, I wondered what it was all about? Just by reading the words – Black Friday – initially gave me the goosebumps. I thought it was something bad. After all, the word ‘Black’ usually is associated with bad things, right?
Turned out, I was not far from wrong. Way back in the 1800s, Black Friday was actually used to describe events that were really bad, for example disasters. An example was the Panic of 1869. It was the year when Jay Gould and James Fisk tried to corner the gold market. The scandal resulted in financial devastation for months in the United States.
Some people say that in the 1950s, the police in Philadelphia used the term Black Friday. It was to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that happened after Thanksgiving. People started to shop for Christmas. And as such, the crowds and large numbers of vehicles caused congestion. The police used the term Black Friday to describe this yearly incident.
Decades later, in the 70s, the phrase was used by retailers to describe the busiest shopping day of the year. Some believe it was used to describe the retailers turning a profit. That is, going from being in the red to be in the black.
Today, Black Friday is used to name the biggest shopping sale of the year. It is the time when businesses offer big discounts or great deals for their products and services. And it is the time that shoppers look forward to because they can enjoy shopping at lower costs.
What Happens on Black Friday?
Major retailers, and even some small stores, would open very early for shoppers to enjoy their offers, sales and promotions. Some stores would open as early as 4am! Not to lose out, there are stores that open at the stroke of midnight just when Black Friday officially starts!
This is because the retail industry has recognized that people want to get great deals on Black Friday as quickly as they can. It is very common for shoppers to camp overnight. They do this to secure their place at the front of the line. When the stores open, these people at the front of the line rush in and grab the best deals quickly.
There are stories, photos and videos of hysteria and mad rush for products. Below is a news report of what happens during Black Friday.
Sadly, there were reports of violence that happened between shoppers during Black Friday. There were 10 reported deaths, and 111 injuries (as of research done to date).
Now, thanks to the Internet, Black Friday is offered online. People do not need to queue or rush anymore. There can be less violence too.
Black Friday on The Internet
In the past, businesses had to rely on brick and mortar stores to get lots of sales during Black Friday. Now, thanks to the Internet, they have another channel to acquire huge volume of sales.
In addition, as eCommerce matured, and continue to improve, consumers have a choice to shop for all they want at great discounts on the Internet.
Businesses invest a lot of money to drive traffic to their stores. They spend on online campaigns to achieve high traffic and sales.
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If you have ANY questions about this article – What is Black Friday, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help out. Besides Black Friday, there is also Cyber Monday, learn more about it here.
Thank you for reading this.
Best Wishes to All!