If Thanksgiving in America wasn’t American enough, there is Black Friday: the holiest shopping day of the year.
Not to be confused with the stock crash and somber days of Black Monday, basically when the financial world came to a halt, Black Friday marks the first day of the Christmas shopping. And why black? In terms of finances, most companies say they are in the ‘red’ (i.e. holding debt, negative profits), or in the ‘black’ (i.e. making profits).
Since the majority of a retailer’s sales occurs during the Christmas season, most see their balance sheet go from red to black.
After checking up on Wikipedia, the first time Black Friday was used in context of Thanksgiving was in 1966 in Philadelphia:
JANUARY 1966 — “Black Friday” is the name which the Philadelphia Police Department has given to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. It is not a term of endearment to them. “Black Friday” officially opens the Christmas shopping season in center city, and it usually brings massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to closing. [source]
Black Friday as a coined term was used again in 1975 and became more common in the 1980s when retailers themselves used it as a day of blessing to bring in good sales through the Christmas Season.
And well today Black Friday is the best and craziest shopping day of the year. Usually queues begin at 1 or 2 am as stores open for doorbuster events from 4-6AM. Everyone from Best Buy to Target to The Body Shop are in on it.
How to Plan for War on Black Friday
Basically, Black Friday is the bring out the guns and warpaint day. If you can’t handle crowds, chaos, don’t shop on this day.
First you need to do a reconnaissance mission, ie. organized planning and scouting of the target location. Then you need to decide who goes to what store, where are the meetup points in the city, etc.
Last year we (6 swedes, 5 americans) headed off the Gilroy Premium Outlets… at 11.30pm Thanksgiving Night. Yes, we battled war with the truest of the insane shoppers. I mean, it took 30min to get off the highway and to the mall area. Lines started at midnight for shops that were opening at 3am.
After finishing shopping at 5AM, we ate at Dennys, headed back home at 7AM. My two friends and I just slept in the car for two hours (in front of the house). At 9AM, we drove one hour north to San Francisco to battle the crowds at the largest underground retailer, Jeremy’s.
Then in the afternoon, I switched teams, and joined my friend Tony to finish up. Torbjörn and his friends napped until noon then battled the electronic superstores.
We reconvened at 7PM for dinner at Chevy’s Mexican restaurant.
Total hours of pure shopping/standing in lines: 10 hours
Nap times/breaks: 3 hours
Driving: 5 hours
Welcome to Black Friday, America’s Holiest day.