According to Wikipedia , there are two explanations. The term
was first coined in Philadelphia in the 1960’s to describe “the
heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would
occur on the day after Thanksgiving.” The term caught hold
and became a common description for the day after
Thanksgiving starting in the 1970’s.
The other reference is to the day retailers go “into the black.”
That is, retailers typically operate in the red throughout the
year until the lucrative holiday season from Thanksgiving until
In recent years, retailers have capitalized on Black Friday by
offering the steepest discounts of the year. The sales period
may begin at midnight or Thanksgiving evening in some stores.
Shoppers have been known to mow each other down in order to
get that special deal they’ve been waiting for — while others are
desperate to capitalize on the sales opportunity.
Online retailers are competing with brick and mortar stores for
the action. Deals are rolling out before Black Friday. If you are
looking for that special gift, go no further than your computer
keyboard or tablet. It may be more efficient, but it definitely is
less fun and festive.
Then again, you can go to the movies, take a hike, visit friends,
gamble at the casino, decorate your house or watch an array of
football games on TV. Black Friday is a prime couch potato
football day to enjoy along with those yummy leftovers from the
Good luck, Shoppers!