What is Black Friday? Why It Matters to Economists and When

What Is Black Friday?

Black Friday

For many employees, Black Friday, the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday, has historically been a holiday unto itself. It is frequently a day jam-packed with special offers and steep discounts and is recognised as the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

The sales are occasionally used by economists to gauge the nation’s overall economic health and the level of confidence of the average American. According to proponents of the Keynesian hypothesis, which holds that consumer spending drives economic activity. Lower Black Friday sales figures are viewed as an indication of poorer development.


  • The day following Thanksgiving is referred to as “Black Friday,”. And is regarded symbolically as the beginning of the crucial Christmas shopping season.
  • Stores provide significant discounts on toys, technology, and other gifts.
  • Cyber Monday, the day after the lengthy holiday weekend. When many customers return to work and online shops offer significant discounts, is also significant to retailers.

Knowing It

It’s customary for businesses to offer exclusive bargains both offline and online on this day. In an effort to attract customers, numerous establishments open their doors before dawn. To remain competitive, some companies have gone so far as to remain open on Thanksgiving Day. While other businesses begin advertising bargains earlier in November.

The most devoted have been known to forego Thanksgiving dinner completely and camp out in parking lots for days or even weeks to obtain amazing discounts. Extremely keen bargain hunters have been known to camp out overnight on Thanksgiving to get a position in line at a preferred store. Regularly, the bargains are extended into Sunday, and both physical stores and internet businesses experience a surge in business.

Important: The term “Black Friday” is also used to describe the collapse of the stock market on September 24, 1869. After a period of wild speculation, the price of gold fell that day, and the markets fell.

Black Friday and Shopping Patterns

Retailers have a whole year to arrange their Black Friday bargains. They take advantage of the day to offer doorbusters and deep discounts on seasonal products like holiday decorations and traditional holiday presents. As well as to give rock-bottom pricing on excess inventory.

Retailers frequently give substantial discounts on expensive goods like the best-selling brands of TVs. Smartphones, and other gadgets to entice people inside where they would then buy higher-margin products. Retailers go to considerable measures to ensure that the details of Black Friday advertising don’t leak out to the public in advance since they are frequently so eagerly anticipated.

It’s customers usually look for the newest, most popular things, which can lead to stampedes and violence in the absence of adequate safety. For example, in 1983, buyers engaged in riots, fistfights, and stampedes to obtain Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. The sought-after item of the year that was also said to be in low supply. Sadly, in 2008, a worker at a large retailer was crushed to death as crowds of customers forced their way through the doors.

The Mysterious History of Black Friday

Businesses began offering bargains following Thanksgiving even before the phrase “Black Friday” was coined. Stores have pushed big sales the day after Thanksgiving for decades in an effort to launch the Christmas shopping season. With a bang and draw throngs of customers, counting on the fact that many organisations and enterprises gave staff that Friday off.

Why then the name? Some claim that the name “Black Friday” was chosen as a nod to the term “black” for profitability. Which comes from the traditional practise of writing earnings in black while keeping records. Ink and losses are recorded in red ink. Retail businesses want to sell enough goods on this Friday (and the weekend after) to break even for the rest of the year.

The expression was first coined by worn-out Philadelphia police officers before being used in advertisements and promotions. The day after Thanksgiving in the 1950s saw huge throngs of shoppers and tourists pour into the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia’s merchants announced considerable savings and the beginning of holiday decorations on this auspicious day. And on the Saturday of the same weekend, the city also hosted the Army-Navy football game.

Why then the name?

To deal with the hordes of motorists and pedestrians, traffic officers were forced to work 12-hour shifts and were not permitted to take the day off. The frustrated cops started calling this horrible workday Black Friday over time, even though the word is no longer suitable.

Store salespeople spread the term by using “Black Friday” to describe the long lines and general chaos they had to deal with that day. It was exclusively utilised for many years in Philadelphia and a small number of nearby locations, including Trenton, New Jersey.

In the middle of the 1990s, “Black Friday” finally swept the country. Appearing in print and television ad campaigns all across the country and emphasising the positive meaning of black ink.

History of Black Friday

It has evolved over time from clogged streets and crowded businesses to fevered crowds squabbling over parking spots and the newest must-have item. When did Black Friday turn into the maddening, excessive shopping occasion that it is now?

In the 2000s, Black Friday was publicly acknowledged as the largest shopping day of the year. Previously, the Saturday before Christmas was set aside for that honour.American consumers, however, were unable to resist the appeal of this designated for the Saturday before Christmas as more retailers started advertising “can’t miss” post-Thanksgiving discounts, and as Black Friday deals became greater and bigger.

Walmart said in 2011 that instead of opening its doors on Friday morning, it will start selling goods on Thanksgiving night. After that, other big-box stores went into a frenzy and quickly copied it. The term “Black Weekend” now refers to a longer version of Black Friday.

The five-day holiday weekend between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday in 2022 saw 196.7 million Americans shop. Up roughly 17 million from 2021 and “the largest total since NRF began started monitoring this data in 2017,” according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Over the weekend in 2022, people spent an average of $325.44 on holiday-related purchases (up from $301.27 in 2021). According to the NRT, $229.21 of that sum was spent on presents. On November 3, the NRF forecasted that Christmas sales will increase overall by 6% to 8% in 2022, reaching between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion. Overall, revenues exceeded projections for the success of the Christmas season.

Comparing Cyber Monday with Black Friday

A similar trend called “Cyber Monday” has emerged for online retailers on the Monday after Thanksgiving. After the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, shoppers are expected to return to work eager to start shopping. Online businesses typically publicise their promos and specials before Black Friday to compete with the deals offered at brick-and-mortar stores.

As a consequence, Cyber Monday has been successful in terms of sales among consumers. But Black Friday has gained even more popularity. Although Black Friday has since 2019 eclipsed Cyber Monday as the busiest online shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday had previously held that title. Black Friday 2022 saw about 87.2 million online purchases, while Cyber Monday saw 77 million, according to the NRF.

Fun Fact: Small Business Saturday, which was established to encourage customers to support small businesses locally, is also a component of the Black Friday shopping extravaganza over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

How Important Black Friday Is

Some analysts and investors consider Black Friday sales data as a barometer for the overall health of the retail industry. Some people mock the assumption that Black Friday may actually forecast the fourth quarter’s performance of the financial markets as a whole. They claim that all it accomplishes is very fleeting gains or loses.

However, in general, taking additional days off for Thanksgiving or Christmas might have an impact on the stock market. The day before a holiday or a long weekend, a phenomenon known as the holiday impact or the weekend effect, usually sees more trading activity and better returns. These cyclical ups and downs are often used as a trading opportunity.

Black Friday is on what day?

The next day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday. It will fall on November 24 in 2023.

Why Do Economists Care About Black Friday?

In order to assess the state of the economy, It’s consumer expenditure is used. The ability to measure consumer confidence and discretionary expenditure is provided to economists.

Cyber Monday: What Is It?

Cyber Monday is observed on the Monday following Thanksgiving (Nov. 27 in 2023). Both offline and online retailers provide unique, website-only deals on this day.


The day following Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, and it’s considered to be the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. While shoppers look for large discounts from stores, economists assess consumer confidence and the state of the economy by looking at total sales numbers.

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