History (and survival tips) for Black Friday

Nakia Harmon

More stories from Nakia Harmon


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The origin of Black Friday, which didn’t originate from parents turning the lights off and hiding from their teenager begging to use their credit card, was officially used after it appeared in print in The American Philatelist magazine in 1966. The Philadelphia Police Department gave that name to the scene of traffic jams and crowded downtown stores. According to The Balance, the name Black Friday actually originated from the take off in gold prices on September 24, 1869. Two speculators named Jay Gould and James Fisk created the boom and bust concept which means to decrease prices extremely low to get a quick economic boost. This was followed by a crash in the stock market when prices fell by twenty percent.

According to The Balance, in the 1950s, businesses began considering the day after Thanksgiving as another paid holiday after people started calling in sick. They decided to use that extra day off as a day to handle holiday shopping. Supervisors quickly discovered that their employees were all mysteriously absent on the same day, so they made the executive decision of allowing their employees to take the day after Thanksgiving off to commemorate a paid holiday.

According to The Finder, this year 74 percent of Americans are planning to go all out for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. According to The Balance, this season is very important for the economy since around 30 percent of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. According to the National Retail Federation holiday spending forecast, holiday retail sales in November and December will be up between 4.3 percent and 4.8 percent over 2017 for a total between $717.45 billion and $720.89 billion. 

Here are five tips to help shoppers find success on Black Friday. The first tip for Black Friday shopping is to scope through retailers. The second tip would be to narrow down your chosen retailers. The third tip would be to make yourself aware of deals. The fourth tip would be to create a budget. The fifth tip would be to schedule your Black Friday shopping list from the beginning to the end. 

Keeping those tips in mind can lead to a successful post-holiday shopping trip.