While everyone is furiously refreshing their web browsers, or have been standing in line since 4am, does anyone actually know the true meaning of "Black Friday"?
Many refer to the day as the single day of the year where retailers can make up their lost profits.
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To be "in the black" actually refers to making a profit. While to be "in the red" refers to a company that is burdened by operating expenses and is unable to generate revenue.
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US and is mutually beneficial for retailers and customers.
Retailers are able to make room for more stock and consumers get to buy all their Christmas presents at cut-throat prices.
The True Meaning Behind Black Friday
As mentioned in our article, Up to 80% off Black Friday Hits Tomorrow, the true story originated in the 1950s. It was coined by the Philadelphia police to describe the chaos and hordes of shoppers that flooded the city before the Army-Navy football game on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
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The police force would be pushed to the limit, dealing with the additional crowds and traffic to ensure as few incidents as possible. It was an all-hands-on-deck operation and cops were not allowed to take the day off.
Shoplifters would also take advantage of the chaos in stores, only adding to the law enforcement's stress.
Reinventing Black Friday
During the late 80s, retailers reinvented Black Friday to reflect more positively on retailers and customers. From then on, the "red to black" concept was born. And, the idea that the Friday after Thanksgiving was when American stores spilt over "into the black" because of increased spending and the crazy deals on offer.
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The Rest Is History
The newly invented significance behind Black Friday stuck and the darker roots were soon forgotten.
The one-day sales have today transformed into a four-day event. Many retailers now have Early Bird, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday specials as a way to better manage crowds.
To find out more of all the Black Friday sales happening in South Africa, click here.