Today, Black Friday is defined today by huge sales and large crowds of shoppers. The origins of “Black Friday” have nothing to do with shopping holiday sales.
Black Friday was first coined after a major stock market crash in 1869. Jay Gould, Jim Fisk, and other investors devised a plan to destroy the stock market and make millions. The investors hoarded all they could of gold on Sept. 24, 1869. The stock market crashed by 20%, and gold’s value shot up. Per History, the initial amount of the couple was $60 million.
USA Today reports that President Ulysses S. Grant attempted to repair the damage caused by Gould, and Fisk by flooding the market with millions of dollars of gold. The result was that gold’s value plummeted. The plan of Gould and Fisk failed and Wall Street financiers lost millions. This is why the Black Friday.
What was Black Friday in the 1950s and 1960s?
The Army-Navy game in Philadelphia, which was held on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, was hugely popular during the 1950s and 60s. For the annual game, crowds of tourists and shoppers flocked to Philadelphia.
Officers in law enforcement had to work harder managing shoppers and traffic. According to The New York Times, the officers revived the term “Black Friday” as a reference to the chaotic Friday prior to the Army-Navy football match.
What is Black Friday all about?
Black Friday was not associated with the holiday shopping frenzy the Friday after Thanksgiving until the 1980s.
Ink is the key to Black Friday’s connection with retailers. According to The New York Times, retailers used black ink for profits and red to signify loss. Black Friday is the day that retailers sell enough merchandise to move from the red to the black.
What has Black Friday become?
It is difficult to know when Cyber Monday starts and Black Friday ends. Black Friday sales don’t end on a single day. They often last several weeks and then evolve into Cyber Monday. Walmart and Target’s Black Friday sales are available for the majority of November. This allows shoppers to spread their holiday shopping over several weeks, rather than just one day.
What will Black Friday 2022 look and feel like?
Black Friday sales might not be as popular this year due to inflation fears. A survey done by RetailMeNot revealed that nearly half of shoppers believe inflation is a reason they will buy less this year.
However, this does not mean that shoppers will not take advantage of pre-holiday sale prices. RetailMeNot reports that more than half of shoppers indicated they will attend Black Friday sales personally this year.
In 1869, the term Black Friday was used to refer to a financial crisis that occurred in the United States. Jay Gould and James Fish attempted to take control of the New York Gold Exchange’s gold market on September 24, 1869. This 1961 Philadelphia newsletter was the first to refer to Black Friday as shopping on the day following Thanksgiving.
The two days following Thanksgiving Day are usually the busiest shopping days for downtown merchants across the country. Police find traffic jams a problem and in Philadelphia, it has become customary for officers and police to refer to post-Thanksgiving days by the names Black Friday and Black Saturday. The problem was not a good stimulus for business and the merchants discussed it with Abe S. Rosen (a Deputy City Representative), one of the most experienced municipal PR officers in the country. He suggested a positive approach that would transform Black Friday and Black Saturday into Big Friday and Big Saturday.
Although merchants were against the negative title for the largest shopping day of the calendar year, it stuck. It was first published in The New York Times in 1975. Philadelphia police officers and bus drivers called it Black Friday, which is the day between Thanksgiving Day (the Army-Navy Game) and Black Friday each year.
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