Black Friday Phenomenon

What is Black Friday?

Sounds like a very scary day doesn't it? I suppose it is if you work for a retailer and happen to have to work that day.   Black Friday is the the name for the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. This day marks the unofficial beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season.   Black Friday occurs between the 23rd and the 29th of November depending on the year.  Not an official Holiday, but many people have the day off.   Many retailers open early at 5AM or earlier, some even open at midnight on the start of Black friday.

According to Wikipedia the term "Black Friday" originated in Philadelphia in reference to the heavy traffic on that day.  More recently merchants and the media have used it instead to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers go from being in the red to being in the black (i.e., turning a profit).   The term Black Friday began to get wider exposure around 1975, as shown by two newspaper articles foe November 29, 1975, both datelined philadelphia.   The first reference is in an article entitled "Army vs. Navy": A Dimming Splendor," in The New York Times.

What's All the Hype About?

In many places shoppers will line up for hours before stores advertising big sales open.  Local media will cover the event. Stores will start advertising for the day a month in advance, the big name advertisers say they do this to give shoppers time to plan. The big name stores advertise deep discounts on electronics and toys. There are also advertising tip sites on the internet.

Here is the catch. Stores only stock so much of the big draw items. Hence the reason why we see the stampedes in the media (or maybe some of us are guilty of partaking in this ritual). People have been injured in these rush and grabs. In a Walmart in Valley Stream, New York on Friday November 28, 2008 a worker lost his life in a stampede of customers. But if you plan your strategies, you can really get some of the big ticket items on your list for a song.

This is the busiest retail shopping day of the year. Because it is so busy many choose to stay home to avoid the crowds. According to Wikipedia again, in an attempt to draw attention to the negatives associated with a consumerist lifestyle, this day has also been used for activities such as Buy Nothing Day.

Confession, Guilty as Charged

Yes, I do partake in the madness which is Black Friday. Yes, I am one of those who wait in line at 4AM to get that one thing that someone wants under the tree for a deep discount. I will wait in line at 4AM whatever the weather. I abhor paying retail.

I have a partner in crime. She is my mother. We plot our game plan after Thanksgiving dinner.  Seriously, we gather all the sale flyers and decide where we are going to hit first and what was most important. Last year our strategy was divide and conquer. I dropped her off where she thought the most important discount was, I went and stood in line at Bass Pro Shop where I sprinted up the stairs after they opened the doors to get what I considered a deal.  Lucky too, 'cause I got the last one (if you're dying to know what I was determined to get and I am sure you are; it was an electric smoker).

Seriously though, it is a lot of fun. The crowds where I live aren't that bad. We have added another partner in crime this year, my Sister has decided to join us. Wonder what the game plan will be this year?

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Comments 12 comments

Sarah Hill 5 years ago

Who else is excited for Black Friday 2011? I am! I keep checking every week hoping for an update. I know they will start giving us sneak peaks towards the end of summer so I'll keep checking. Last year I saved over $200 so I can't wait for this year!

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Thanks to all for visiting my Black Friday Hub!

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Hi James, I didn't know that there was a black friday song from Steely Dan until I researched for this story. You play music too...that's really cool. Thanks for stopping by. -Tammy

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Reminds me a song by Steely Dan that I used to play.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Putz...You are right she is a smart lady.

Putz Ballard profile image

Putz Ballard 6 years ago

My wife once loved the Black Friday sales gettin gup early and attempting t be one of the early bird shoppers. she hasn't done this is several years and shops throughout the year, I think she is a smart lady.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping by habee!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I never fight the crowds then. I try to get most of my shopping done before Thanksgiving. Good hub, though!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I never fight the crowds then. I try to get most of my shopping done before Thanksgiving. Good hub, though!

itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

No,no,I just couldn't cope-!

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Yes ma'am I agree. They use the "lost leader" tactic to draw people in. thanks for stopping by!

Hope Wilbanks profile image

Hope Wilbanks 6 years ago from Louisiana

I used to do the Black Friday thing but I haven't in many years. I think a lot of people get caught up in the emotion of it and start glazing over and don't pay attention to prices. There are a lot of good deals you can find, but some places also tend to put things out and make them appear to be on sale but they really aren't.

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