Retailers followed the concept of post-Turkey Day sales which was started long before “Black Friday.” With an view kicking off holiday shopping season with a bang and attract hordes of shoppers, stores promote major deals the day after Thanksgiving for decades, based on the fact that many companies and businesses gave employees that Friday off.
Why it was named as Black Friday? Few say the day is called Black Friday as an homage to the term “black” which refers to profitability as in old book keeping, black ink were used to record profits and red ink to record losses. The agenda of retail businesses is here is to sell on this Friday (and the following weekend) to put themselves “in the black” for the rest of the year.
However, long before appearing of this theory in advertisements and commercials, Philadelphia police officers who overworked coined the word – Black Friday. In 1950s, City of Brotherly Love was flooded with crowds of shoppers and visitors flooded the day after Thanksgiving. Along with the Philadelphia stores touting major sales and the unveiling of holiday decorations on this special day, Army-Navy football game was also hosted on Saturday of the same weekend. Hence, traffic cops were asked to work 12-hour shifts to deal with the crowd of passengers and pedestrians, and even they were refrained from taking leave. Over time, the annoyed officers referred this dreaded workday as Black Friday. However this concept is no longer acceptable.
Finally, in the mid-1990s started celebrating the positive connotation of black ink—”Black Friday” swept the nation and appeared in print and TV ad campaigns across the United States.
In 2000s Black Friday was officially designated the biggest shopping day of the year. Till that period title had gone to the Saturday before Christmas. Yet, as more retailers started touting “can’t miss” post-Thanksgiving sales, and the Black Friday discounts grew deeper and deeper, American consumers could no longer resist the pull of this big shopping day.
In the year 2011, Walmart made an announcement that, instead of opening its doors on Friday morning, it would start sales on Thanksgiving evening. That was just a beginning later big-box retailers followed the suit. Today, Black Friday is a longer event—a Black Weekend.