What is Black Friday, really?


By Pixabay

Black Friday sign

   Picture this: you’ve just finished Thanksgiving dinner with your family, and as you walk back to your room, you think to yourself,  “Wait, isn’t tomorrow Black Friday?” If you thought this exact thought, you would be absolutely correct!

   Now, you may be wondering how the term “Black Friday” came to be, and why the holiday is even celebrated. Surprisingly, the story of Black Friday originates in Philadelphia in the 1950s, as police used the term to negatively describe the flood of people traveling to the city for the Army-Navy football game that happens the following Saturday. In 1961, the name was unsuccessfully changed to “Big Friday” to try and remove the negative meaning behind it, but it didn’t stick. Finally, in the late 1980s, the name Black Friday was repurposed by retailers to describe how businesses would go from being “into the red” (at a loss of profit) to “into the black” (gaining profit). 

   The word spread and its negative origin in Philadelphia was forgotten as it became an event based on business sales, which have generated huge amounts of profit. According to The Balance,In 2019, shoppers spent an average of $361.90 from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.” According to ABC News, the day generated a total of 9.0 billion in 2019. 

   Contrary to popular belief, Black Friday is not the day where people spend the most money. It fell short of Cyber Monday in 2019, which made 9.4 billion dollars. 

   This year, deals and low-prices struck popular retailers all over the country, including stores like Walmart and Target, although fewer shoppers participated in the shopping. According to The Washington Post, 186 million people shopped this year, four million less than last year. This drop in the number of consumers is said to be directly related to the pandemic and how it has changed consumer habits.

   Did you buy anything this Black Friday season? If so, we at The Hi-Times would love to hear about it! Drop a comment and tell us the best deal you purchased.