Since it seems to be getting almost as much attention as Thanksgiving this year, here’s a little background information on Black Friday. If you’ve braved the crowds already today – hats off to you! If you’re heading out soon, good luck! And if you want to avoid the crowds and long lines altogether – may we suggest visiting your neighborhood Donor Center? You can give blood and earn points for some great online Rewards – which make great holiday gifts!
• The original term Black Friday dates back to the Sept. 24, 1864 stock market panic triggered by plunging gold prices.
• The modern term Black Friday was first used in Philadelphia in 1966 by the Philadelphia Police Department when describing the traffic jams and crowding in the downtown stores.
• Black Friday has been the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season since the 1930s.
• President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving up a week during the Great Depression because retailers wanted an extra week of shopping revenue. This pleased retailers, but irritated shoppers, who had to change plans. It was sometimes referred to as “Franksgiving.”
• Around 1980, Black Friday came to be known as the day retailers ended the red ink of sales losses and moved into the black ink of profit.
• Black Friday has only recently become the busiest shopping day of the year. Between 1991 and 2001 it didn’t even rank in the top five.
• To compete with online retailers today, other retailers have gotten aggressive, offering deals around the clock. For example, this year Macy’s, Target and Kohl’s opened for business at midnight.
• Last year 212 million shoppers spent $39 billion, which is an average spending amount of $365.34.