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On the Friday following Thanksgiving, millions of people rush out in hopes of finding good bargains and the best deals.
It is a yearly tradition that has become known as Black Friday.
Where did this tradition come from?
Why does it have such an unusual name?
Christmas shopping was big business for most of the 20th Century, but it's only been rather recently that the phenomenon of Black Friday has existed.
The trend of launching the Christmas shopping season the day after Thanksgiving was probably started by the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Macy's is a large department store in New York City, and they used their yearly Thanksgiving Day Parade as a way of jump-starting the Christmas gift buying season.
Other stores caught on to the trend, and thus, Thanksgiving Day became the day that the Christmas shopping season officially began.
Over time, it became an unwritten rule that stores would never start Christmas promotions before the day after Thanksgiving as most stores were closed on Thanksgiving Day.
However, recent years have seen major retail chains kicking off their Black Friday sales as early as 6 PM on Thanksgiving Day!
There are multiple stories as to where the phrase "Black Friday" came from.
The most widely circulated belief is that this is the day when most stores begin to turn a profit.
This comes from an expression that has existed for years.
A business that is showing a profit is known as "operating in the black."
Whereas, a business that is in debt, or has not yet made more than it has spent, is referred to as "operating in the red."
The terms "black”and "red”referred to the color of ink used to indicate either profit or debt.
While this is a clever explanation of the term "Black Friday," there is little evidence to support the claim.
The true origin of the phrase probably comes from Philadelphia in the early 1960s.
The local police began to use the phrase to describe the horrific traffic and overcrowded sidewalks of the downtown shopping area on the day after Thanksgiving.
The term began to grow in popularity throughout the 1970s and eventually grew to be used worldwide.
It has become well known that Black Friday is "the busiest shopping day of the year."
However, this has not always been the case.
In fact, in the 1990s, the day after Thanksgiving would frequently rank from 5th to 10th on the list of busiest shopping days.
However, since 2004, Black Friday has assumed the top spot and will probably not relinquish it any time soon.
It is estimated that over 225 million shoppers take to the stores each Black Friday and spend over $52 billion.
This averages out to nearly $400 per shopper, just on this one day!
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What is Black Friday?

399 Folder Collection
Taka published on November 11, 2019
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