Featured Offbeat — 22 November 2017

If even the thought of Black Friday has always excited you but you have always wondered as to where and how it all started, then you are on the right page. This article intends to provide you with answers to the questions you have related to Black Friday.

What is Black Friday?

The Friday that follows Thanksgiving is the Black Friday and it indicates the time to shop. It officially or unofficially marks the beginning of holiday shopping season. It is no official holiday but some employers give a day off to their employees so that they could easily start their holiday shopping. All the stores announce door buster sales and people literally stand in lines even before the stores open to grab the best of bargains.

Why do we call it a Black Friday?

The term Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and it was coined in the 1960s. It was a time when accounting records were maintained in red and black ink. The red ink indicated a loss, whereas the black ink indicated profit. Therefore, retailers began using the term Black Friday to refer to that single day of the year when retail companies manage to go ‘into the black’ (make profit) after being ‘in the red’ for most of the year.

There is yet another explanation for the term Black Friday. When massive traffic jams hit streets and sidewalks got overcrowded due to the start of Christmas shopping season in the center city following Thanksgiving Day, the Philadelphia Police Department used the term Black Friday to describe the mayhem.

How Black Friday became so popular?

It was the realization on the part of retailers that made Black Friday so popular. They realized how easy it is to draw crowds by discounting prices on one special day. Since then, some retailers put items on sale on the morning of Thanksgiving while some others keep their consumers updated about the forthcoming sale through the internet. As electronics and toys are the most drastically discounted items, so they automatically are the most shopped items as well. However, Black Friday is about shopping everything because all the items are available at slashed prices on this shopping day.

To accommodate the madding crowd of shoppers, many retailers open up at 5 am or even before. In recent years, some retailers have started posting their coupons and offers online, so that buyers are informed beforehand and they can make the most of Black Friday. On the other hand, some retailers and companies wait until the very last minute to announce their offers. This is a marketing strategy they use for keeping prospective customers engaged and eagerly waiting for their announcements.

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