7 Fun Facts About "Black Friday"


While some of you may be out and about in stores, hopefully more of you will be recouping from Thanksgiving dinner at home. For both groups, I thought it might be fun to opine on how exactly this crazy demi-holiday came into being. Enjoy this list of fun facts about America's consumerist holiday:

  • Since 1932, Black Friday has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the United States.

  • Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe "The Day After Thanksgiving" as a holiday for state government employees, sometimes in lieu of another federal holiday.

  • It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005, although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate, have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time.

  • The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving in a shopping context suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving, and this phrase has been coined ever since 1961.

  • The most popular explanation for the name is that this day represented the point in the year when retailers begin to turn a profit, thus going from being "in the red" to being "in the black".

  • Shopping can turn to violence as there have been significant reports of violence occurring between shoppers on Black Friday. Since 2006, there have been 7 reported deaths and 98 injuries throughout the United States.

  • The news media usually give heavy play to reports of Black Friday shopping and their implications for the commercial success of the Christmas shopping season, but the relationship between Black Friday sales and retail sales for the full holiday season is quite weak and may even be negative.

More information on the holiday can be found here.

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