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An introduction to black friday a special day for shopping

Some bargain-hunters camp out overnight in order to secure a place in line at a favorite store; the most fanatical have been known to skip Thanksgiving dinner altogether and camp out in parking lots for days or even weeks.

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They use the day as an opportunity to offer rock-bottom prices on overstock inventory and to offer doorbusters and discounts on seasonal items, such as holiday decorations and typical holiday gifts.

Retailers also offer significant discounts on big-ticket items and top-selling brands of TVs, smart devices and other electronics, luring customers in the hope that, once inside, they will purchase higher- margin goods.

The contents of Black Friday advertisements are often so highly anticipated that retailers go to great lengths to ensure that they don't leak out publicly beforehand.

Consumers often shop on Black Friday for the hottest trending items, which can lead to stampedes and violence in the absence of adequate security. For example, on Black Friday in 1983, customers engaged in scuffles, fistfights and stampedes in stores across the U.

What is 'Black Friday'

So why the name? Some say the day is called "Black Friday" in homage to the term "black" referring to being profitable, which stems from the old bookkeeping practice of recording profits in black ink and losses in red ink. However, long before it started appearing in advertisements and commercials, the term was actually coined by overworked Philadelphia police officers. In the 1950s, crowds of shoppers and visitors flooded the City of Brotherly Love the day after Thanksgiving.

As a result, traffic cops were required to work 12-hour shifts to deal with the throngs an introduction to black friday a special day for shopping drivers and pedestrians, and they were not allowed to take the day off. Over time, the annoyed officers started to refer to this dreaded workday as "Black Friday. The Evolution of Black Friday Somewhere along the way, Black Friday made the giant leap from congested streets and crowded stores to fevered shoppers fighting over parking spaces and pepper-spraying each other as they tussle over the last Tickle Me Elmo.

When did Black Friday become the frenzied, over-the-top shopping event it is today? That would be in the 2000s, when Black Friday was officially designated the biggest shopping day of the year. Until then, that title had gone to the Saturday before Christmas. Today, Black Friday is becoming an increasingly lengthy event — a Black Weekend. That started a frenzy across major retailers: It turns out that as Thanksgiving Day sales are growing rapidly, Black Friday sales are decreasing at just about the same pace.

The primary benefit of opening on Thanksgiving: Still, Friday remains the busiest day, by far, of the holiday weekend.

Cyber Monday Competition For online retailers, a similar tradition has arisen on the Monday following Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday is known as the unofficial start of the online holiday shopping season. E-tailers often herald their promotions and sales prior to the actual day in order to compete against the Black Friday offerings at brick-and-mortar stores.

In fact, Cyber Monday deals are now available at both Walmart and Macy's from 12: As a result, in terms of sales, Cyber Monday is quickly catching up to Black Friday. According to statistics from the National Retail Federationsales on Black Friday weekend Thursday to Sunday have fallen consistently since 2012.

Shopping Stats Residents of the Southern states typically spend more than those in the North. The state of Texas, and even more precisely the city of Austin, is home to the biggest spenders in the country.

Other cities housing serious shoppers are Scottsdale, Ariz. Statistics show that men are more likely to shop on Black Friday than women, and to spend an average of 3 percent more. According to the NRF, clothing and accessories account for more than half 51. The Significance of Black Friday With people spending rather hefty sums of money on this notoriously busy shopping day, the sales chalked up on Black Friday are often thought of as a litmus test for the overall economic condition of the country and a way for economists to measure the confidence of the average American when it comes to discretionary spending.

Those who share the Keynesian assumption that spending drives economic activity view lower Black Friday sales figures as a harbinger of slowed growth. Some investors and analysts look at Black Friday numbers as a way to gauge the overall health of the entire retail industry.

An introduction to black friday a special day for shopping scoff at the notion that Black Friday has any real Q4 predictability for the stock markets as a whole.

Instead, they suggest that it only causes very short-term gains or losses. However, in general, the stock market can be affected by having extra days off for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It tends to see increased trading activity and higher returns the day before a holiday or a long weekend, a phenomenon known as the holiday effect or the weekend effect.

Many traders look to capitalize on these seasonal bumps. The Black Friday Stock Market Crash Although "black" can allude to profitability, it is also often used to describe disastrous days in financial markets. For example, on Black TuesdayOct. The largest one-day drop in stock market history occurred on Black MondayOct. The dubbing of these crashes as "Black" days originated with one of the earliest stock market crashes in the U. It was sparked by a ring of speculatorsled by Jay Gould and James Fisk, who attempted to corner the gold market.

In early September, they bought as much bullion as they could get their hands on, causing the price of gold to skyrocket.

A Brief History of Black Friday

They wanted him to persuade the president to limit the metal's availability, which would drive its price even higher. But their attempt to use the White House to manipulate the supply failed. When Grant learned what was happening, he ordered the U. Treasury to sell gold instead. The gold market collapsed, causing the stock market to plummet more than 20 percent in the next week, ruining many investors. The day became known in financial history as Black Friday.