Black Friday may bring on a round of cheers or groans, depending on who you speak to regarding the retail holiday. During the fiscal year, retailers in the U.S. and U.K. look forward to driving sales and revenue into the black, after offering deeply discounted prices on goods. The term Black Friday has not always been associated with shopping and GDP but has a more checkered history.
Workers Swoon Over Retailer’s Boon
The creation of Black Friday as a retailer’s holiday promised to help businesses land in the black before the year’s end. Since Black Friday occurs the day right after Thanksgiving, workers would often call off sick, since the idea of getting a four-day weekend was unheard of concept.
After business owners made the connection between workers ghosting on Black Friday, the idea of offering employees overtime or bonuses encouraged them to come to work.
Some Shady Slang
Black Friday has a link to unsavory Wall Street conspiracies in 1869, assaults of suffragettes in 1910, and law enforcement. Similar to spikes in crime and mayhem around a full moon, the day after Thanksgiving proved to be a headache for most police officers.
Preparing for an increase in traffic jams, fights, and other problems, Philadelphia’s police department would force mandatory duty for all of their officers on Black Friday. The recurrence of humanity’s less-than-desirable side coming out on the day after Thanksgiving caused the name Black Friday to become a favorite coinage with officers and the public.
Holiday Hell Or Paradise
On Black Friday, most people relish being part of the massive crowds that spend hours lining up in front of stores to get first dibs on discounted toys, electronics, and clothes. While other people wait for Cyber Monday to come around to shop quietly indoors, Black Friday is a monumental event most don’t want to miss.
Retailers look forward to earning their highest grossing sales of the year, committing to Black Friday as being the ultimate money-making holiday.