History of Black Friday

Exploring how Black Friday came to be

Abby Milkes, Staff Reporter

For many people, Black Friday is a time to get a head start on Christmas shopping. It is one of the busiest days of the year for shopping, and always falls on the day after Thanksgiving. In 2021, Black Friday lands on Nov. 26.

Although it is not an official holiday, many people have the day off from work, except those working in retail.

The tradition dates back to the early 1960s, when in Philadelphia, the streets were clogged by people going to the Army-Navy football game. They were in search of deals after Thanksgiving.

The name “Black Friday” came about to express the start of Christmas shopping season. “Black” is used over any other color because back then, accounting records were kept by hand, and black indicated a profit.

However, it was true even earlier than 1960 that the Friday after Thanksgiving was the start to holiday shopping. The tradition began in 1924, after the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that stores began markdowns to attract shoppers.

Many retailers set up ropes for the lines and set a limit on how many people can be inside the store at a certain time. Most retailers post an ad or coupons online before the event to let shoppers plan out their day.

More recently though, 2020 completely changed the dynamic of Black Friday. Most retailers wanted to remain closed due to COVID, which was the first time in many years. There was less rush and much more online shopping, and this looks to be continuing into this year.

Stores such as Target, Walmart, and Bath and Body Works have already started their sales, and all of them are also available online.

While Black Friday may look slightly different this year, don’t let that stop you from hitting up some of your favorite stores or even just purchasing things online to get started on that holiday shopping.

According to statista.com, 36% of US consumers in 2020 planned to do most of their Christmas shopping on Black Friday (photo courtesy of Creative Commons).