Each year, the stores are packed with crowds looking to save some money and bring home gifts at the lowest prices possible. If you have ever wondered why it is called Black Friday or how this tradition started, read on to learn more about the history of retail's biggest day of the year.
Why Is It Called "Black Friday"?
Interestingly enough, there are two ways that this shoppers holiday got it's name. At the very beginning of the tradition, people we so eager for deals that they swarmed the shopping centers. This resulted in traffic accidents and other unfortunate altercations amongst the crowds. Back in 1966, the Philadelphia Police Department coined the term "Black Friday" to describe this phenomenon.
The other meaning of the term came later and gets its origins from an accounting term to mean profit for the retailers. Where as being "in the red" indicates a loss, being "in the black" means profits. As the popularity of these sales caught on, retailers could expect a very profitable day on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Black Friday has marked the beginning of the Holiday shopping season since the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924,. Before it was known by what we call it now, it was simply "After Thanksgiving Sales". Then as now it was one of the single busiest days of the year. During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt changed the date of Thanksgiving to a week earlier so that merchants could have more shopping days in the season in which to sell their wares.
These days, Black Friday has become so popular with shoppers that many larger retailers open their doors as early as Midnight on Thanksgiving in order to get the most hours out of the day