Black Friday Mayhem Begins

Amelia Symons, Staff Writer

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With the holiday season approaching quickly, a lot of people take advantage of the sales and discounts on Black Friday to begin or continue their gift buying for Christmas and the rest of the holiday season. Black Friday is the term used to describe the day after Thanksgiving every year. This annual day was given the name Black Friday because the volume of shoppers often create traffic accidents, violence, and businesses who are in the “red” make enough of a profit to be in the “black.” 

The first Black Friday got its name on September 24, 1869. On that day in history, the US gold market crashed, leaving Wall Street barons bankrupt as a result of Fisk and Gould’s actions. It was not until many years later, around the 1950’s, that Black Friday became associated with Thanksgiving and the beginning of the Christmas season. Philadelphia police officers were the ones who connected Thanksgiving to Black Friday. They did this because of the amount of tourists and people who came to the city the day after Thanksgiving for the Army-Navy football game, and the chaos, traffic jams, and amount of shoplifting occurring because of it.

Today, Black Friday is the United States’ biggest shopping event of the year. A Forbes article written by Nikki Baird shows some of the statistics of Black Friday in 2018. Over 165 million Americans contributed to some sort of shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend, whether it be in store or online. The average per person spending over the weekend was up by $100 compared to years past. Forbes predicted that about 40% of all holiday shopping would take place over the Thanksgiving weekend. They have found that the amount of self-shopping has gone up while the amount of shopping for gift-giving is declining, as more young people take part in the shopping. 

Introduced more recently to continue Black Friday, the Monday following Thanksgiving is now referred to as Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday became a thing after Ellen Davis, the senior vice president of the National Retail Association of the US, noticed an increase in sales on the Monday following Thanksgiving and Black Friday. In the year 2005, Cyber Monday was added to the Thanksgiving weekend as a way for shoppers to continue purchasing for the upcoming festive season. In recent years, Adobe Analytics found that Americans spent upwards of $7.9 billion on online purchases on Cyber Monday. 

The day following Black Friday is called Small Business Saturday, where people are encouraged to shop locally and give businesses to those smaller businesses waiting to take off and make more profit. The goal of Small Business Saturday is to remind consumers that they play a role in helping small businesses in their cities thrive.

The Tuesday following Thanksgiving has been known as Giving Tuesday since it began in 2012. It was created when two companies, 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundations came together. Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement that encourages people to do good and give back to those in need. 

For most people, Thanksgiving weekend is the beginning of the holiday season and calls for shopping for the upcoming gift-giving. Despite the crowds and chaos caused by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is a win-win situation for both the consumer and the stores consumers are buying from.