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?
Some links to "Black Friday" ads if you're interested
- BlackFridayAds.com 2009 - The site retailers don\'t want you to see!
A comprehensive listing of all the Black Friday 2006 sales
- Black Friday Ads - The Official Black Friday 2009 Website
The Official Site for Black Friday 2009. Black Friday, also known as the Day After Thanksgiving, or Blitz Day, is the day most retail stores offer customers great deals for shopping on the first day of the 2009 Christmas Shopping Season.
- Black Friday Ads for Black Friday 2009 and Black Friday Deals!
Black Friday Ad for Black Friday 2009, with a complete listing of the Black Friday ads and Black Friday ad scans, along with online coupons.
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