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Black Friday

Black Friday is the day after American Thanksgiving, it has acquired the reputation of being the biggest retail-sales day of the year. Since the middle of the twentieth century, Black Friday has been considered the first official shopping day of the Christmas season. Retailers claim that the phrase Black Friday comes from the idea that for much of the year, many businesses run “in the red”, or lose money. With the crush of Christmas shopping, these businesses will run “in the black”, or end up showing a prosperous year.

It seems that the true origin of the phrase Black Friday dates to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the 1950s, when the day after American Thanksgiving became a day of chaos. Each Saturday after Thanksgiving the Army-Navy football game was held in Philadelphia. Tourists and shoppers glutted the city for the entire weekend, including the Friday between Thanksgiving Day and Army-Navy football game day. Policemen were not allowed to schedule leave for that weekend, as every policeman would be needed to deal with the enormous influx of people, traffic and crime. It was the Philadelphia Police Department who first referred to the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday in the 1950s. Retailers in the 1980s appropriated the term and repackaged it as a reference to retail profitability, increasing holiday shopping fever with deep discounts available only to Black Friday shoppers. The heyday of Black Friday shopping may have passed, with the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring at “early-bird sales” in the early 2000s, and the many shopping alternatives now available online.

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Examples

We’ve seen a lot of the Black Friday deals for video games extended through until December: even now, most retailers are offering both the Xbox One and PS4 at $299.99, and software deals have been rolling on through various retailers both digital and physical for a few weeks. (Forbes)

British shoppers shunned the high street during November’s Black Friday bonanza as bargain hunters preferred to take advantage of online deals. (The Telegraph)

 

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