Trivia Monday: Black Friday

Black Friday has been on my mind a lot recently.  I suspect I’m thinking about it more this year than in the past because it’s the day after my birthday and a month before Christmas.  Oh yeah, and I am working in retail so that’s all people at work are talking about.

It may seem strange that there are people who don’t know what Black Friday is, but we had to explain the concept to a coworker yesterday.  Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, which for those who haven’t  noticed is always the fourth thursday of November.  People think that the name “Black Friday” comes from the fact that since 2005, the day is the busiest shopping day of the year, meaning that stores make are making a profit, the day is in the black.  Though media sources had been reporting that it was the biggest shopping day for years before it was actually true.  There is also mention that stores who were previously in the red in total sales, are moved into the black for the quarter.

With stores opening so early and with all the special Black Friday deals people are out early and they are traveling from store to store.  The name Black Friday comes from Philadelphia where it was apparently used to describe the heavy traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular.  Apparently the term began in 1966 and spread in the mid 70’s to the rest of the US.

Now Black Friday is notorious for huge deals, crazy lines/shoppers, and stores opening crazy early.    Even in tough economics times people enjoy spending on Black Friday. Surprises always happen on Christmas.

More fun facts:  I read an article today from the Boston Globe.  Apparently there is a 17th century blue collar law which states that employees are not allowed to start working until midnight after thanksgiving.

Read more here: http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2011/11/15/mass-blue-laws-derailing-stores-black-friday-plan/XByFypt4mRQUfTV6fReFMM/story.html

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