Why Do We Call it Black Friday? Levin’s Tells the Story
The day after Thanksgiving, aka Black Friday, marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season—the busiest time of the year for retail. Why do we line up before dawn the day after a big meal to shove our way through department stores to snag a good deal?
Because we all love a good deal.
To find out the history behind Black Friday, and why we dedicate the day after Thanksgiving to shopping, you have to go back about 150 years to the Panic of 1869.
At the time, two shady Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, bought as much gold as they could in an attempt to corner the U.S. market. President Grant caught wind of their manipulative practices, but his efforts to stop the corruption caused prices to drop by 18 percent. The day when many people lost their life savings was dubbed Black Friday.
It wasn’t until the 1950s that we began to associate Black Friday with the day after Thanksgiving. The holiday weekend got the term because of the chaos and smog that consumed Philadelphia. The Army versus Navy football game was held in Philly on Saturday every year. In advance of the big game, many families flocked to the city as soon as they finished their Thanksgiving pie so they could spend Friday shopping in the big city.
The mass of people caused chaos, traffic jams, and lots of smog. The department stores saw floods of business; however, shoplifters also took advantage of the big crowds to sneak away whatever they could. Philadelphia police started referring to this period as “Black Friday” and “Black Saturday.” The first nickname stuck.
Why do we shop on Black Friday?
In addition to the Philadelphia shopping craziness, retailers across the United States began taking advantage of the long holiday weekend to launch big sales and started traditions like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
These parades functioned as the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season as retailers paraded their brands down the street for all buying eyes to see, officially reminding everyone that stores would open early the next day so they could check off their Christmas wish lists.
Black Friday became so successful that stores have started opening earlier every year. What used to be the standard 6 a.m. opening hour has been pushed back to Thanksgiving eve. Recently, retailers have created extra shopping days—Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Amazon Prime Day (in July) and “Black Friday in July.”
Whether you embrace it or avoid it, Black Friday is huge for retailers. Every year, you’ll find incredible deals on big-ticket items like televisions and computers, as well as stocking stuffers like toys and sleepwear.
Huge Black Friday Savings at Levin Furniture!
While you’re out scouting Black Friday deals, be sure to stop in at your local Levin Furniture. Levin is planning an exciting Black Friday sale with special pricing, the ever popular doorbusters, and the return of one of our most sought after offers.
Visit Levin’s on Black Friday to snag the conversation piece that all your friends and family will be buzzing about. Visit levinfurniture.com today to find out more!