I mean, really … if Saturday didn’t exist, Friday would be the best day of the week, bar none. (Although I’m sure there are a lot of Sunday lovers out there who vehemently disagree.)
Let’s face it, on any given Friday, it’s hard to find anyone in a bad mood; especially after noontime.
My only complaint with Friday is that it comes just once per week.
Black Friday is a different story, however. I wish it never came at all.
Anybody who has ever ventured out on Black Friday to bag an amazing deal on a clever holiday gift knows what I’m talking about. Enormous crowds, bumper-to-bumper traffic, and endless lines make Black Friday a living nightmare.
At most, there are only 53 Fridays in any given year. So whose idea was it to waste one of them on Black Friday?
Sadly, I tried — and failed — to find a specific scape goat. However, I did manage to dig up these facts regarding the black sheep of the Friday family:
- Because it follows Thanksgiving every year, Black Friday can fall on any day between November 23rd and November 29th. (I know. But I’m just getting warmed up.)
- The term “Black Friday” was first used in the 19th century to describe the financial Panic of 1869, which erupted after a couple of speculators tried — and failed — to corner the gold market.
- The use of “Black Friday” to describe the day after Thanksgiving supposedly originated with the Philadelphia police department back in the early 1960s.
- Even so, according to Wikipedia, the term “Black Friday” didn’t begin seeing more widespread use outside of Philadelphia until 1975.
- The cops in the “City of Brotherly Love” originally coined the term because they weren’t fond of the higher-than-usual traffic and pedestrian congestion that accompanied Black Friday.
- Concerned about the potential negative implications that “Black Friday” would have on commerce, a public relations executive named Abe Rosen led a marketing push in the 1960s to change the term to “Big Friday.” Although the media cooperated, the campaign ultimately failed.
- Of course, Abe was badly mistaken. According to CNN Money, last year more than 139 million shoppers looking for Black Friday bargains spent $59.1 billion. Imagine how much more it would have been if the day was called “Big Friday.”
- Black Friday is a very special day for Apple; it’s typically the only day of the year they discount their products.
- According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 72% of all people between 18 and 34 years old went shopping on Black Friday last year. No doubt most of them were at the Apple Store.
- One hallmark of Black Friday is retailers’ penchant for offering so-called limited “door-buster” deals on big-ticket items that are often as much as 60% off regular prices.
- Door-buster deals are probably why, according to the NRF, 28% of the people who shopped during last year’s Thanksgiving weekend lined up at the stores by 12:01 a.m. on Black Friday. That’s up from 10% in 2010.
- If you find yourself stuck in a long queue on Black Friday, look at the bright side: it’s probably shorter than the world’s longest-ever Conga line — 119,986 people. I said “probably.”
- Unfortunately, those “door-busters” can lead to the real thing. In 2008, a Long Island Walmart employee was trampled to death by a stampede of impatient Black Friday shoppers who broke down the doors minutes before the store was scheduled to open.
- No, that’s not the same Walmart where two people were shot last year on Black Friday — during a dispute over a parking space. That store was in Tallahassee, Florida.
- With all that potential danger lurking, it’s no wonder 88 million people did their Black Friday shopping online in 2012.
- Internet shoppers will be happy to know that, according to DealNews.com, 70% of in-store Black Friday deals are typically available online for the same price — if not less.
- Black Friday isn’t the best time to buy toys, brand-name HDTVs, and winter apparel. According to DealNews.com, “Toys see the deepest discounts right before Christmas; brand-name HDTVs sink in price between December and February; and winter apparel sales are best after Christmas.”
- Despite all the chaos that happens every Black Friday, it turns out that it’s not even the best day for deals anymore. Since 2011 that honor has belonged to … Thanksgiving. Yes, Thanksgiving. Frankly, that’s enough to make anyone pine for Monday.
Photo Credit: jbhthescots