Black Friday 2012: The Origins of Black Friday, And How It Went From a Negative Thing to a Positive One


Breaking from tradition in year’s past, Black Friday sales opened across the nation in select stores starting at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s, Best Buy and others opened their doors earlier than usual drawing in swarms of customers. Many of these deals were also available on-line, allowing both shoppers to avoid the hassle of going to stores and retailers to make large profits from this “Cyber Black Friday.”

Black Friday marks the unofficial beginning of the holiday shopping season, allowing retailers to actively push and promote discounts and deals pertaining to Christmas shopping.

Black Friday got its name back in the 1960s. It got its name from the disgruntled “Philadelphia police officers, bus drivers, and taxi cab drivers who dreaded the day after Thanksgiving due to the traffic problems from the massive amount of people out and about” shopping during the holiday season’s first sales the day after Thanksgiving. Retailers were not fond of this negative association since it affected their sales. Therefore, in the 1980s, they tried to put a positive spin on “Black Friday” by spreading around a new reason for the origins of this well-known shopping day.

Retailers claimed that “Black Friday” was the shopping day when retailers went from being “in the red” and losing money to being “in the black” and turning profits. Though this is not true since most retailers make profits year-round, this theory stuck.

Black Friday is arguably the most well known shopping day of the year but does not make bring in the most money for retailers. The days preceding Christmas where procrastinators empty their wallets receives that honor."