Black Friday is used to denote the biggest shopping day on the year in the US and now also the UK. It is the day just after Thanksgiving Day. It will be interesting to note that it was originally called Black Friday because at some point, so many people went out to the streets for shopping that it caused severe traffic snarls and also some accidents. The term was first used by the Philadelphia Police Department in the year 1961 to denote the congestion on the roads and the large number of accidents that took place because of it.
However, the day after Thanksgiving Day became significant for the retailers as they made the most profit on that day. But the term “Black” was not a very preferred one in the early days because it was used to denote something negative. Like “Black Thursday” that denotes the beginning of the great depression in the US. Black Monday denotes the worst day in the history of stock markets when it recorded the largest percentage drop.
How did Black Friday Start to Denote Something Positive?
In spite of the term “Black” attached to the day which is usually used to denote something negative, retailers started to view it in a positive way as the day usually recorded the maximum sales for the year. In the US, accountants use black to record profits and red to denote losses, so Black Friday became the day that signifies the success of the retailing business and the economy of the country as a whole.
Looking forward to a great day of sale, the retailers began to pen their shops early which caught the eyes of the buyers fairly soon. Also, Black Friday in 2011 created a record when shops remained open even at midnight. People started to gather early on the streets near their favorite retail stores to get hold of the best deals as the stores open.
There have been situations in the past when things have gone out of hand causing stampedes and even death. In 2008, a worker was trampled to death during a stampede as reported by the New York Times.
Since then, things have changed a bit as many online retailers and ecommerce vendors like Amazon and Walmart also provide great deals on Black Friday. People can place orders from their home and also receive delivery of the goods right at their doorstep.