why do they call the friday after thanksgiving black friday

Black Friday is upon us, and your mind shifts from turkey and fellowship to a "only the strong survive" mentality when fighting for big bargains. In the past, the term "black" used with any day could signal a major day of disarray, disaster or loss. For example, many historic days like a 1935 Midwest dust storm or the death of Dale Earnhardt have used the term "Black Friday. "
For a lesser destructive day, Black Friday was applied to the day after Thanksgiving back in the 1950s when a factory trade magazine referred to workers calling out sick in order to have four days off over the Thanksgiving weekend. After all, Thanksgiving is a federal holiday. The Friday after is sandwiched in between off days. The term was first applied to shopping in the Philadelphia area. Newspapers at the time used the term to describe law enforcement's dealings with large crowds. One public relations expert recommended replacing "black" with "big" since, of course, the word was applied to general calamity.


The term eventually stuck when the New York Times used it in 1975 to describe the shopping day. Still, the rest of the country outside of the northeast U. S. had no idea about "Black Friday. " By the 1980s, stores and merchants began accepting the term since sales in other parts of the year lagged behind, or were "in the red. " The thinking behind adopting the term stemmed from the day's profitability. It brought merchants "in the black," and thus, Black Friday was an appropriate term. Today, we've seen Black Friday expand beyond just the day. Stores have trickled savings into Thanksgiving night and online on "Cyber Monday. " How did Black Friday become Black Friday? The day after Thanksgiving will be one of the of the year, when millions of deal-hungry shoppers put down the turkey and stuffing to descend upon retail stores (and websites) looking for discounted TVs and toys.


The longstanding post-Turkey Day tradition (which itself) marks the start of the holiday shopping season, but what gives with the dark, ominous moniker? One common myth around the origins of the term Black Friday is that retailers coined the nickname as a reference to their own. Companies that had been operating at a loss ( in the red ) the whole year could count on a massive shopping day on the fourth Friday of November to make them profitable for the year ( in the black ), thus Black Friday. However, that story may have been by those same retailers in an effort to put a more positive spin on the busy shopping day. (Snopes. com also points to another widespread, but, myth tracing the term s origins back to the days of slavery. ) Related: Instead, the truth appears to point to a more derisive coining of the phrase.


It is widely accepted now that the term Black Friday was first used in the early 1960s by exhausted Philadelphia police officers who had been besieged by tourists and shoppers flooding into the city on the day after Thanksgiving to get a jumpstart on Christmas shopping. In a 1994 article for The Philadelphia Inquirer, reporter Joseph Barrett in spreading the phrase while also giving the credit for coining it to the city s traffic cops, many of whom were forced to work extra long shifts to deal with the masses of shoppers. After all, black is often used to describe a day filled with catastrophe (like a, ). Barrett also noted that marketers later tried changing the name to Big Friday, in another effort to paint a rosier picture of a shopping day that is, without a doubt, an important for retailers. But the term Black Friday вand it s darkly humorous connotationsвwas the one that caught on and spread beyond Philadelphia over the ensuing years.


It wasn t until a couple of decades later that retailers across the country really as part of their annual post-Thanksgiving sales bonanzas. Related: Today, Black Friday is still a massively important time of the year for U. S. retailers, though the creep of the Christmas shopping season and shoppers mass migration online has changed the name s connotation somewhat. With marketers kicking off holiday sales earlier and earlier each year, many retailers now offer sales that start earlier in November and run well into December. And, in recent years, Black Friday hysteria has been muted by the growing influence of, with a large number of deals also available online, either for the unofficial holiday Cyber Monday, or even for advance Black Friday web sales from like and throughout Novemberвif not earlier.

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