Asked in African-American HistoryMarketing Advertising and SalesBlack Friday
When did Black Friday start in the US?
November 23, 2011 4:57PM
The day after Thanksgiving has always been the traditional start to holiday shopping. Over the years retailers have offered discounts on that day to lure shoppers into their stores.
The Black Friday as we know it today (long lines of people outside stores at 5am or even midnight) didn't gain popularity until the end of the 20th Century.
It had been a long standing tradition to have big sales starting the day after Christmas. It was during the Carter years that retailers tried jump starting the holiday shopping season with super sales on the day after Thanksgiving due to a predicted slump in Christmas gift sales. The previous year the "Day After Christmas" sale had pulled many retailers out of red ink as cash strapped shoppers took in the bargains after a disappointing Christmas season.
Double digit inflation and high unemployment after the Nixon/Ford years had put the nix on spending for luxury items like expensive gifts.
These sales were intended to get would be shoppers motivated and into the stores and re-igniting the "Christmas gift giving spirit"
The plan worked and became an American tradition known as Black Friday as shoppers lined up outside in the predawn darkness all across the country.
The term "Black Friday" was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. "Black" refers to stores moving from the "red" to the "black," back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit. Ever since the start of the modern Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season.