Black Friday Blues – Cheer up!

Black Friday Shopping

As you all know, Black Friday takes place the day after Thanksgiving, which is the fourth Thursday in November. This year, Black Friday falls on November 27, so you have probably been bombarded with offers and discounts this week. Black Friday is traditionally the biggest retail sales day of the year. The numbers are mind blowing. The National Retail Federation’s latest survey finds that 135.8 million consumers plan to shop Thanksgiving weekend and nearly 80 percent of holiday shoppers — 183.8 million people — plan to shop on Cyber Monday. The survey also found that nearly 57 percent of those celebrating the holidays had already started shopping by early November, up from 54 percent last year and 49 percent in 2008.

But where did the idea come from and why “Black” which we normally associate with being a bad day? According to Wiki, the term was first recorded in a shopping context more than 50 years ago by Philadelphia police officers to describe the busy day after Thanksgiving when the city was clogged with the vehicles of customers flocking to the Christmas sales as well as fans travelling to the annual Army vs Navy American football game – “Congestion Friday” or “Footie Friday” perhaps? The name may then have gained general use because it represents the day when many retailers move from making losses in the year, being “in the red” to being “in the black” or making a profit for the year to date. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year here since 2005. The day has a reputation for turning mild-mannered shoppers into fierce bargain hunting maniacs with fights breaking out – “Black and Blue Friday” or “Bruised Friday”? Being such a big deal, you would think there would be some good jokes about Black Friday but no, little laughter is generated it seems with these being the best we could find online: What do Black Friday shoppers and the Thanksgiving turkey have in common? They know what it’s like to be jammed into a small place and stuffed! – Who profits the most on Black Friday? The one who was smart enough not to go shopping on that day – Black Friday is a scam. You should be mad they overcharge you 364 days a year.

In the early years, some say retailers tried to rename the day “Big Friday”, but it didn’t stick. Amazon tried in June this year a “Prime Day” sale (to mark its 20th anniversary).  The e-commerce giant said it sold more that day than on any previous Black Friday, with 398 items ordered per second. The obvious names for this day is surely something like “Shoppers Friday” or “Bargain Friday”. But how about we start a campaign to re-name it “Rainbow Friday”, to make it it’s a jollier, calmer occasion?

So votes for “Rainbow Friday” please with perhaps a special discount if you turn up at any store dressed in Unicorn animal onesie on that day.