When we think about Black Friday Sales, our thoughts immediately gravitate toward the natural desire to fulfill personal needs. It's the one day when you can genuinely save money and acquire gifts for both yourself and your loved ones.
Why Is It Called Black Friday?
The day following Thanksgiving—commonly referred to as Black Friday—has become one of the busiest shopping days of the year in the United States. It is believed by many that the term Black Friday derives from the concept that businesses operate at a financial loss, or are “in the red,” until the day after Thanksgiving, when massive sales finally allow them to turn a profit, or put them “in the black.” However, this is untrue.
A more accurate explanation of the term dates back to the early 1960s, when police officers in Philadelphia began using the phrase “Black Friday” to describe the chaos that resulted when large numbers of suburban tourists came into the city to begin their holiday shopping and, in some years, attend Saturday’s annual Army-Navy football game. The huge crowds created a headache for the police, who worked longer shifts than usual as they dealt with traffic jams, accidents, shoplifting, and other issues.
Within a few years, the term Black Friday had taken root in Philadelphia. City merchants attempted to put a prettier face on the day by calling it “Big Friday.”
The phrase “Black Friday” to signify a positive boost in retail sales didn’t grow nationwide until the late 1980s, when merchants started to spread the red-to-black profit narrative. Black Friday was described as the day stores began to turn a profit for the year and as the biggest shopping day in the United States. In truth, most stores saw their largest sales on the Saturday before Christmas.
How much Americans spent on Black Fridays?
When it comes to Black Friday spending in the United States, it's essential to take note of the statistics. In 2021, a whopping 180 million shoppers collectively poured a substantial $54.2 billion into the retail economy during the period stretching from November 26th to November 30th.
It's also intriguing to look back to 2012, a year that witnessed the highest peak of Black Friday spending. During that time, the average American shopper allocated $425 to their shopping endeavors, contributing to an astounding total expenditure of $59.1 billion. These data points offer valuable insights into the significant economic impact and consumer trends associated with Black Friday sales events on retail store when online shopping was not developed like now.
These historical figures provide us with valuable insights into the profound economic impact and the shifting consumer trends associated with Black Friday sales events, especially in an era when online shopping had not yet evolved to its current prominence.