Overview
11.25.2017 (331 Days Ago)

It's Saturday...and anything goes.

The Truth
The Truth
331 days ago 14 comments Categories: Lifestyle Tags:
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I thought I would share the unvarnished truth about "Black Friday."

 

The first recorded use of the term Black Friday was applied not to holiday shopping but to financial crisis: specifically, the crash of the U.S. gold market on September 24, 1869. Two notoriously ruthless Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, worked together to buy up as much as they could of the nation’s gold, hoping to drive the price sky-high and sell it for astonishing profits. On that Friday in September, the conspiracy finally unraveled, sending the stock market into free-fall and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers.

 

The most commonly repeated story behind the post-Thanksgiving shopping-related Black Friday tradition links it to retailers. As the story goes, after an entire year of operating at a loss (“in the red”) stores would supposedly earn a profit (“went into the black”) on the day after Thanksgiving, because holiday shoppers blew so much money on discounted merchandise. Though it’s true that retail companies used to record losses in red and profits in black when doing their accounting, this version of Black Friday’s origin is the officially sanctioned—but inaccurate—story behind the tradition.

 

In recent years, another myth has surfaced that gives a particularly ugly twist to the tradition, claiming that back in the 1800s Southern plantation owners could buy slaves at a discount on the day after Thanksgiving. Though this version of Black Friday’s roots has understandably led some to call for a boycott of the retail holiday, it has no basis in fact.

 

The true story behind Black Friday, however, is not as sunny as retailers might have you believe. Back in the 1950s, police in the city of Philadelphia used the term to describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, when hordes of suburban shoppers and tourists flooded into the city in advance of the big Army-Navy football game held on that Saturday every year. Not only would Philly cops not be able to take the day off, but they would have to work extra-long shifts dealing with the additional crowds and traffic. Shoplifters would also take advantage of the bedlam in stores to make off with merchandise, adding to the law enforcement headache.

 

According to a pre-holiday survey this year by the National Retail Federation, an estimated 135.8 million Americans definitely plan to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend (58.7 percent of those surveyed), though even more (183.8 million, or 79.6 percent) said they would or might take advantage of the online deals offered on Cyber Monday. Are you shopping?

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  •  Fred wrote 331 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    What does the Commissioner think?
     
       
     
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  •  TheodoreLanzaro wrote 331 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Only in the US do people trample each other trying to buy stuff they don’t need the day after celebrating gratitude for what they have. It’s like the people who curse at you while trying to get out of the church parking lot!
     
       
     
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  •  Corey_Bearak wrote 331 Days Ago (positive) 
     
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    Shopped yesterday at two stores; 2nd one was a need—new Rapp to cover the patio table on my deck and doubled sided tape to finish covering my Last AC that needed to covered in plastic for the cooler climes this time of year. Earlier picked up several wireless mice so I only need to move my laptop.
     
       
     
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  •  Gideon_Schein wrote 331 Days Ago (positive) 
     
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    No shopping, but love the history lesson. Learning is always fun. Thanks Mitch
     
       
     
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  •  Daniel_Schwartz wrote 331 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    After serving my over 15 years in retail and having worked every Black Friday, I have come to dispise Black Friday with a passion. My wife, now in retail lives what I went through. I will not see much of her for next three days. It does take the whole Thansgiving spirit away.
    For the record, the busiest shopping day of the year is the Saturday before Christmas. The Sunday before is a close 2nd but shorter hours on Sunday affect final sales figures.
    I recall doing overnight shifts the entire week before Chritmas at the Gap, stocking shelves and preparing the constant flow of shipment. I do not miss any of it.
     
       
     
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  •  Kelly_Welles wrote 331 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    Mixed feelings here. I HATE shopping. But remain grateful that we still have a retail industry. Ten years from now, retail as we have known it will be ancient history. Kelly
     
       
     
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  •  Rona_Gura wrote 330 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    As much as I love shopping, I do not get up at 5:00 a.m. t do so. My kids go, along with their cousins. For me, I love to see them planning what time they're going and where. And I love watching them go with their cousins. Hopefully, it's something that they will all continue to do together for a long time.
    Oops, did I forget to mention that I ordered two handbags online?? The prices were too good to pass up.
     
       
     
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