Why is it called Black Friday

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the United States and is often considered the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. The term “Black Friday” has several historical explanations for its origin, but the most widely accepted one is related to the idea that it represents the day when retailers’ finances shift from being “in the red” to “in the black.” Here are a few theories explaining the origin of the term:

Accounting Origins: This is the most widely accepted explanation. In accounting, being “in the red” means operating at a financial loss, while being “in the black” means making a profit. The idea is that on the day after Thanksgiving, many retailers start making a profit, thanks to the increased shopping activity and the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

Traffic Jams and Crowds: Some people believe the term “Black Friday” may have originated from the heavy traffic and chaotic crowds that occur on the day after Thanksgiving. The influx of shoppers and vehicles might have led to the use of “black” to describe the busy, sometimes difficult conditions.

Philadelphia Police Usage: There is a popular but disputed story that the term “Black Friday” was first used by the Philadelphia Police Department in the 1960s. They supposedly used it to describe the disruptive and congested traffic caused by shoppers and tourists on the day after Thanksgiving.

Start of the Christmas Shopping Season: Black Friday has also traditionally marked the beginning of the holiday shopping season, and the term “black” may have been associated with the idea of businesses moving from loss to profit during this time.

Retail Marketing: In the mid-20th century, retailers in the United States began to promote the day heavily through advertisements and sales events, helping to popularize the term.

It’s important to note that while Black Friday has become synonymous with shopping deals and discounts, it has also been associated with instances of consumer frenzy, long lines, and occasional incidents of overcrowding and disputes. In recent years, many retailers have extended Black Friday sales into Thanksgiving evening and the entire weekend, leading to the coining of terms like “Gray Thursday” and “Cyber Monday” for online shopping deals.

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