Black Friday – then and now

Anna Zhang, Staff Writer

The thunderous sound of footsteps and screaming rings through the mall as a stampede of people rush through. Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, commonly known as Black Friday, shoppers of all ages surge through doors, racing against one another to try and nab the best deals on electronics, clothing, luxury goods and more. This year, Black Friday falls on Nov. 26, during Thanksgiving break for Jefferson students. However, how did Black Friday originate and get its famous name?

The term first came about 54 years ago in Philadelphia. Traffic police used the terms Black Friday and Black Saturday in 1961 to describe the traffic congestion in the city caused by an onslaught of drivers going shopping or returning home after Thanksgiving festivities with their relatives. To capitalize on this boom of people on the streets, Philadelphian stores lowered prices and started sales to attract consumers during this time. Other stores outside of the area of Philadelphia adopted the practice of starting sales after Thanksgiving, and as the custom grew more and more popular, Black Friday became well known to all as a time for shopping and sales.

Over the years, the start time of these sales has inched back. While in 2000 many stores started their sales promptly at midnight, now many advertisements will proclaim “early Black Friday deals” starting up to weeks before Thanksgiving. Target, a major retailer in the area, released a “Black Friday preview” advertisement on November 8th and is opening stores at 6:00 P.M. on Thanksgiving. Many other stores are following suit, trying to lure shoppers with convenient hours on Thanksgiving day, instead of opening doors at midnight on Friday.

Now, there are more options than ever for getting a good Black Friday deal. Popular shopping destinations among Thomas Jefferson students include electronic and clothing retailers, such as Best Buy, Walmart, or Macy’s. Another popular shopping option this year is browsing online for the best deals. Using the web, students can compare deals with one click, allowing them to find the best prices from the comfort a couch.

As the winter shopping season approaches, the retail world falls into a flurry of activity as shoppers and stores alike prepare for the holidays. Whether by rushing through stores or surfing the web for deals, Black Friday guarantees all great deals on all types of goods.