Black Friday is the kick off of the Christmas Shopping season in the US as it is the day after Thanksgiving which most non-retail employees have free. This of course increases the number of shoppers in the stores and this explains why Black Friday has been the busiest shopping day of the year for the past decade. According to sources the name originated in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where it describes the heavy, dense traffic occurring after Thanksgiving. People use this day to get out and digest their Thanksgiving dinner…And what better pastime than shopping and admiring the Christmas decorations! To draw even more people in, stores traditionally offer big discounts and sales that day which just adds to the chaos. Many discount chains in the US such as Target, Kohls, Best Buy and especially Walmart take advantage of Thanksgiving and “Black Friday” to open their doors late Thanksgiving day (between 6 pm and midnight) or very early the day after Thanksgiving…sometimes as early as 4 am in the morning! Now that’s serious shopping! People can shop until they drop!
Because Thanksgiving is on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, Black Friday usually falls between the 23rd and the 29th of November and is preceded by the Macy’s Day Parade in New York City. Macy’s is a big department store…actually the biggest in New York …and counts on the Christmas shopping season to make it through the rest of the year financially (as do a lot of retail stores). So to get everyone in the Christmas shopping mood, they put on a huge parade down 5th avenue which attracts a big crowd every year. It has become a very traditional event and consequently an important cultural event. Here you see some ordinary guys from New Orleans doing a dance to “show their pride” after Hurricane Katrina devastated their region: Here is a short news clip of some ABC journalists commenting on the Sesame street float in last year’s Macy’s Day Parade:
$15.5 Billion were raked in on Black Friday..$1 Billion more than last year! Hmmm…what do you think of that? Another update…The Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend has just been baptized “Cyber Monday”…so get your “mice” ready for the best buys!