Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (the fourth Thursday of November). Since 1932, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S., and most major retailers open very early (and more recently during overnight hours) and offer promotional sales.
Let’s see some interesting facts about it!
1. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe “The Day After Thanksgiving” as a holiday for state government employees, sometimes in lieu of another federal holiday such as Columbus Day.
2. Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the following Friday off, which, along with the following regular weekend, makes it a four-day weekend, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers.
3. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005, although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate,have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time.
4. Similar stories resurface year upon year at this time, portraying hysteria and shortage of stock, creating a state of positive feedback.
5. In 2014, spending volume on Black Friday fell for the first time since the 2008 recession.
6. $50.9 billion was spent during the 4-day Black Friday weekend, down 11% from the previous year. However, the U.S. economy was not in a recession.
7. Christmas creep has been cited as a factor in the diminishing importance of Black Friday, as many retailers now spread out their promotions over the entire months of November and December rather than concentrate them on a single shopping day or weekend.
8. The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving in a shopping context suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.
9. This usage dates to at least 1961. More than twenty years later, as the phrase became more widespread, a popular explanation became that this day represented the point in the year when retailers begin to turn a profit, thus going from being “in the red” to being “in the black”.
10. For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00 a.m., but in the late 2000s many had crept to 5:00 or 4:00.
11. This was taken to a new extreme in 2011, when several retailers (including Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, and Bealls) opened at midnight for the first time.
12. In 2012, Walmart and several other retailers announced that they would open most of their stores at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, prompting calls for a walkout among some workers.
13. In 2014, stores such as JCPenney, Best Buy, and Radio Shack opened at 5:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day while stores such as Target, Walmart, Belk, and Sears opened at 6:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day.
14. Three states, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts, prohibit large supermarkets, big box stores, and department stores from opening on Thanksgiving, due to blue laws.
15. There have been reports of violence occurring between shoppers on Black Friday.
16. Since 2006, there have been 7 reported deaths and 98 injuries throughout the United States.[
17. It is common for prospective shoppers to camp out over the Thanksgiving holiday in an effort to secure a place in front of the line and thus a better chance at getting desired items.
18. This poses a significant safety risk (such as the use of propane and generators in the most elaborate cases, and in general, the blocking of emergency access and fire lanes, causing at least one city to ban the practice.)
19. “Black Friday” used to refer to stock market crashes in the 1800s. Although it is now known as the biggest shopping day in the US, the term “Black Friday” originally referred to very different events.
20. “Santa Claus parades” were Black Friday’s predecessor. For many Americans, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has become part of the holiday ritual. But the event actually was inspired from the US’s neighbours in the north. Canadian department store Eaton’s held the first “Santa Claus parade” on 2 December 1905. Once Santa appeared at the end of the parade, the signal was that the holiday season – and thus, holiday shopping had begun.
21. Low-end entertainment items (books, movies and music) are the items with the highest Black Friday markdowns. According to WalletHub, the average additional discount on these items is 28 percent.
22. Despite the huge advertising campaigns, jewelry sales offer the worst deals on Black Friday. As a category, jewelry is discounted only 4 percent on Black Friday, according to WalletHub.
23. Last year’s Black Friday repeat items won’t necessarily be any cheaper the next year. WalletHub found that retailers including Big Lots, Sears, Office Depot and Office Max, and JCPenney among others all raised their Black Friday discount prices in 2015 for the exact same item they also discounted ion 2014.
24. There are more deals on toys than any other categories. According to WalletHub, almost 23 percent of discounted items fall into the toys category, followed by apparel (21.67 percent) and appliances (9.5 percent). Consumer packaged goods had the lowest concentration of discounts (1.4 percent).
25. Black Friday may be going away … or at least losing all relevance. Like the proverbial snake swallowing its own tail, Black Friday contributes to its own irrelevance a little more each year as more retailers begin offering “Black Friday” deals on Thanksgiving Day or even earlier in the week and more shoppers look for deals online. It’s plausible to foresee a day-after-Thanksgiving where long lines outside department stores have complete vanished.