Black Friday is not an official US holiday, but many non-retail employers also observe this day as a holiday along with Thanksgiving, giving their employees the day off, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year.
The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that "Black Friday" indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit for the year, or are finally "in the black".
For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00 am, but recently many had crept to 5:00 or even 4:00. This was taken to a new extreme last year when several retailers (including Target, Kohls, Macy's, and Best Buy) opened at midnight for the first time. This year, Walmart led several other retailers in announcing it would open its stores at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, prompting calls for a walkout among some workers.
Black Friday is now the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Black Sunday??? You can go online today buying anything that you want at "Black Friday" pricing. You can make your purchase via your iPad, and pick up at the store at your convenience. What's next? Are we going to just jump to Black November? Why not just make the entire month of November "black" and be done with it?
Now I have an idea.
Now I have an idea.
Every year when I pay my taxes, I am asked if I would like to donate $1 to the Presidential Campaign fund. I always say yes, out of fear that someone at the IRS is flagging all returns that say no.
This year, why not have all online stores do the same? Ask: "Would you like to donate $1 to Hurricane Sandy Relief"? You are already shopping online. You are saving gas, tolls, parking. You are saving shipping fees and sales tax by shopping online. Think about it.
The National Retail Federation releases figures on the sales for each Thanksgiving weekend.
|Year||Date||Survey Published||Shoppers, millions||Average Spend||Total Spend||Consumers Polled||Margin for Error|
|2011||Nov 24||Nov 27||226m||$398.62||$52.5 billion||3,826||1.6%|
|2010||Nov 25||Nov 28||212m||$365.34||$45.0 billion||4,306||1.5%|
|2009||Nov 26||Nov 29||195m||$343.31||$41.2 billion||4,985||1.4%|
|2008||Nov 27||Nov 30||172m||$372.57||$41.0 billion||3,370||1.7%|
|2007||Nov 22||Nov 25||147m||$347.55||n/a||2,395||1.5%|
|2006||Nov 23||Nov 26||140m||$360.15||n/a||3,090||1.5%|
|2005||Nov 24||Nov 27||n/a||$302.81||n/a||n/a||n/a|
It might be too late for this $1 donation idea to take off. This year, the Capone household will keep track of what we spend on Black Friday. We will then send a nice donation to the Red Cross and to Catholic Charities USA. The Capone clan will be saving a ton of money on Black Friday, and we can't send some of that savings to those who have lost everything? Ahem.