Black Friday is Friday. Tonight’s the night when all the madness begins. Black Friday will see everyday Joes swept up in a shopping frenzy and display unapologetic buying power.
However, many wonder what the significance of this date is. It is called “Black Friday” because it has such a catchy name. It is amazing that we can see so many tempting deals a month before the boxing day sales. Why is the UK suddenly a retail haven?
Myths And Urban Legends
Through increased awareness and dissemination of knowledge and propaganda via social media, the array of urban legends and historical myths that we find the best deals of the year is gaining more traction.
We will dispel some myths by sharing the history of this increasingly popular, corporate-driven, consumer-oriented sales event.
Social media has spread the belief that Black Friday originate in the 1700’s when slaves were being sold at a reduce price. Many celebrities have endorsed this claim and called for a boycott on Black Friday.
However, in reality, the first recorde use of the phrase “Black Friday” was made long before the American slave trade was end. This has not stoppe the slavery rum ours from being circulated each year.
Black Friday was the first time the term was use. It was not use for holiday shopping, but rather for financial crises. This included the collapse of the U.S. Gold market on September 24, 1869.
Jay Gould, a Wall Street financier, and Jim Fisk were notoriously cruel. They conspired to buy as much of the nation’s precious metal as possible, hoping to increase its value and make huge profits. The conspiracy collapsed on Friday September 5, sending the stock market into freefall and bankrupting everyone, from Wall Street barons, to farmers.
It’s sometimes calle Black Friday by some because everyone is sick and calls in sick to work, which makes it a poor day for employers.
One company in America claim to have coined the term back in 1951 after writing it in a Factory Management and Maintenance newsletter: “‘Friday-after-Thanksgiving-it is’ is a disease second only to the bubonic plague in its effects.
Although it may be true that sudden illnesses increase on Black Friday, this is not the origin of the popular use of the name.
Some believe it’s Black Friday because it’s the day when merchants become profitable or their accounts turn from the red to the black.
Similar myths simply refer to the profits that retailers will make on Black Friday as bargain-hungry shoppers storm their stores.
The Real History
Black Friday’s true story isn’t as bright as the retailers would have you believe. In the 1950s the city of Philadelphia used this term to describe the chaos that followed Thanksgiving. It was a day when large numbers of tourists and suburban shoppers flooded the city ahead of the annual Army-Navy football match.
Philadelphia police would not be allow to take the day off. They would also have to work longer shifts to deal with traffic and additional crowds. Shoplifters could also profit from the chaos in stores to steal merchandise, increasing the law enforcement headache.
In Philadelphia, “Black Friday” was a well-known term by 1961. Merchants and boosters tried unsuccessfully for “Big Friday” to replace it.
Although the term was not popularize in the rest of the country until much later on, it was still use locally as late as 1985. In the late 1980s retailers discovered a way to reimagine Black Friday, making it more positive and less negative for their customers. It was the “red-to-black” holiday concept mentioned earlier. This is the idea that America’s stores finally made a profit on the day following Thanksgiving.
The one-day sale has evolve into a four-day event and has been follow by other “retail holidays”, such as Small Business Saturday/Sunday or Cyber Monday. The Friday after Thanksgiving saw stores open earlier and earlier. Now, even the most committed shoppers can go out to shop right after dinner.