The day after Thanksgiving is renowned for its midnight shopping sprees, crazy low prices, long lines, and possibly violent crowds. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Many people believe Black Friday came about because that’s the first day (or close to) that retail sales go out of the red and into the black. However, the BBC report that there is no evidence of that. So what can you even believe? Well, here are five fun Black Friday facts to help sate your curiosity.
- Holiday Shoppers Determined Thanksgiving’s Date (Sort Of)
While not necessarily about Black Friday itself, it does play a large role in the day in which we celebrate Thanksgiving. According to the BBC report, Thanksgiving was always on the last Thursday of November. Sometimes, this became the very last day of the month. In a tizzy, retailers petitioned President Roosevelt to move the date a week earlier so as not keep holiday shoppers back from their stores any longer. To this day, the holiday shopping officially begins the day after Thanksgiving, and for that, you can thank Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- Black Friday is a World-Wide Event
The United States is no longer the solitary observer of this shopping holiday. Now, many countries throughout the world participate in the retail revelry. This is becoming easier and easier, since many companies are online. Countries that participate in Black Friday include Canada, the United Kingdom, Romania, Norway, South Africa, Panama, and many others.
- The Day’s Name Is Based On Heavy Traffic
It’s true. At least In Philadelphia, the day after Thanksgiving saw heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The term started in the early 1960s, and expanded out from Philly from then on. Other explanations also came about, but the blackness of the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush is too enjoyable a thought to dismiss, especially since that rush has only grown immensely over the years.
- It’s a Weeks-Long Camping Trip
The record for longest campout in front of stores awaiting Black Friday deals is 22 days. This year, a man has already been camping out since October. If he succeeds in his camp, he’ll be living in a tent, in front of a store, for 33 days. But he’s also doing it to raise awareness for homelessness and is collecting toys and other things for needy local children, so at least he’s doing some good in the process. Other campers, like the ones who slept outside for 22 days, do it to be first in line. No matter what your goal, however, camping is camping, and you’ll most certainly want to have some good ol’ camping gear along for the ride (HydroHeat, anybody?).
- Grey Thursday
It’s a thing. In recent years, big-name stores would open bright and early on Friday morning around 6:00 a.m. (or, if you’re crazy like Kohl’s, 4 a.m.). As the years went on, the time to open the doors for Black Friday got earlier and earlier until stores were opening at midnight, the earliest possible time while still being in Friday. But, pretty soon, that wasn’t early enough, and Black Friday faded to Grey Thursday, and shops were open late at night on Thanksgiving, then in the evening, and now…right after turkey.
More and more stores are opening their doors to Black Friday deals on Thursday. Now, once the turkey’s been scarfed down, it’s out the door to wherever it is you're going that’s opening early. According to some, this makes the actual shopping experience less crazy. Hey, it’s something, right?
Now while you wait for Black Friday to roll around, you can “wow” your friends with these nifty tidbits of information. You’re welcome.
What other fun Black Friday facts do you have?