Black Friday is the day after American Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday on November, and has in the last decade become the biggest shopping event of the year. Major retailers are eager to kick of the holiday shopping season which means Black Friday is a day for spectacular offers, leading to masses of spend-thrifty shoppers hitting the stores. It is comparable to Boxing Day as is observed by Britain and much of the commonwealth.
Black Friday is becoming increasingly more important for business this side of the pond too – news channels are already reporting extreme conditions in shops and supermarkets due to the masses hunting the best offers.
The term Black Friday has several possible origins; one stems from Philadelphia in the 1960s, the term used to describe the huge masses of pedestrians the day after Thanksgiving. An alternative explanation refers to Black Friday as the start of profit making – the first day shops go from the red to the black in the books (from loss to profit). Both explanations make sense; masses of shoppers looking for good deals naturally lead to good results for retailers.
In America retailers traditionally open their doors extra early on Black Friday – as early as 5 or 6 am is not uncommon and camping outside the shops to be the first ones in was popular to the degree that the practice got banned as a result of the safety risk this posed – with masses of people blocking roads, access to hydrants and emergency exits.
With many retailers offering some serious discounts – often around 70% – there is no wonder the day has become exceptionally popular with both retailers and consumers, perfectly timed to start the shopping for the upcoming season.
If you’re headed out there, we suggest you brace yourself with a triple fill of patience, sharp elbows and optimism. Think of it as the Hunger Games of shopping – you need to be clever and strong and persevere in times of difficulty (ie. when you are trapped in a flood of moving shoppers going the opposite way you want, when the toddler behind you decides to test his or her lung capacity or when the staff is demonstrating How Not to be Efficient – a treat often saved for the busiest of times!).