What Are The Origins Of The Black Friday Sale?

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In today’s culture, we have come to know the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday, or a day when stores and online retailers offer extreme deals and many items on sale.

In the United States, Black Friday has become one of the busiest shopping days of the year. But what are the origins of Black Friday and how did it become what it is today?

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black friday shopping bag, shopping mall

Read on to learn more about the meaning & history behind Black Friday  –

Black Friday Was First Used To Refer To A Financial Crisis
In the 1860s, two Wall Street financiers collaborated to buy as much of the nation’s gold as possible, with the intention to drive up prices. Their conspiracy was unveiled on Friday, September 24,1869 (Black Friday), which sent the stock market into a free-fall, bankrupting everyone from farmers to Wall Street barons. (History.com)

The Origins Of Black Friday Today Came From Shopping Chaos in the 1960s
Philadelphia in the 1960s would become chaotic when large crowds of suburban tourists would storm the city to begin their holiday clothing and gift shopping, and often, attend Saturday’s Army-Navy football game. Police officers started calling it Black Friday because things would become overwhelming – leading to accidents, shoplifting and traffic jams. (Brittanica)

How It Became Aligned With Higher Retail Sales In The 1980s
Using Black Friday as a term to indicate a boost in retail sales became more popular in the 1980s, when it was described as the day stores began to turn a profit for the year and as the biggest shopping time in the United States. The sales and deals began to take hold and have continued to snowball into the shopping bonanza we’ve come to know. However, most stores had their largest sales on the Saturday before Christmas. (Brittanica)

Untrue Origins – How Stores Go From “Red” To “Black”
Another story about the origins of Black Friday ties to sales language. After struggling throughout the year operating as a loss (in the red), stores would talk about how they earned a profit (went into the black) on Black Friday since shoppers spent so much on holiday sales. While stores used to record losses in red and profits in black in their accounting, History.com shares that this is actually an inaccurate but widely accepted story about Black Friday’s origins. (History.com)

What To Expect From City Threads
Between Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, the weekend after Thanksgiving is an important day for small businesses. It’s a way to offer deals to long-time customers and a way to welcome new shoppers to try products at a lower price. City Threads Black Friday sitewide sale will start before Black Friday (no coupon or code needed). To get early access, make sure you’re signed up on our SMS list – join here. Shop our Black Friday sale and get the best deals on our soft and comfortable kids clothes.

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We always like to remind folks to support small business stores throughout the holiday season whenever possible – happy holiday shopping!

Written by: City Threads Cofounders Shayna Samuels & Joe Willis, and Kestrel Jenkins, responsibility consultant & host of the Conscious Chatter podcast.