Black Friday is not another bad hair day in Wall Street. It's the term used by American retailers to describe the day after the Thanksgiving Holiday, seen as the semi-official start of Christmas shopping season. Evan Davis
It’s that time of year again! Will you participate in Black Friday this year? Did you know that Black Friday did not always refer to shopping? According to an article found in Huffpost, the term “Black Friday” was used by Philadelphia Police Department to describe the havoc in the city when the annual Army-Navy football game was played there on the weekend after Thanksgiving.
It was described as “lots of cars, lots of traffic, lots of chaos”.
BLACK FRIDAY = LONG LINES + CHAOS
Black Friday has evolved into a term to describe the day after Thanksgiving when retailers offer significant discounts on their products.
I remember hearing people talk about getting up at around midnight, after Thanksgiving, to go shopping at certain stores. People would stand in line for hours, outside of the store, waiting on the store to open. When the store opened, chaos would ensue when all of the people rushed to get inside in order to find their sought after products. Sometimes, people would get into fights with other customers over the products because retailers only offered a limited quantity of the products that were on sale.
THANKSGIVING AT WALMART
I participated, for the first time, several years ago.
Retailers post their black Friday ads about a week or more before the sale. I saw an ad where Walmart was advertising smart tvs at a significant discount. In addition, their sale was going to start at 9pm the night of Thanksgiving.
I arrived at one of our local Walmarts around 5pm on Thanksgiving evening. Store personnel directed the customers to a specific lane in the store, according to the product that the customer wanted to purchase. There were already 12 people in the smart tv line when I arrived.
These people were seasoned Black Friday shoppers. They had bought their own chairs, and they were playing UNO.
I was determined to purchase this tv, and I stood in that line until 9pm. At 9pm, a store employee passed out tickets to the first 15 people in the line. Luckily, I was one of them. The lucky few were instructed to take the ticket to the electronics section to redeem the ticket for a television. After I obtained the television, I spent maybe another 30 minutes in the checkout line.
There were a lot of people in the store that night. However, there were no fights and no chaos. In my opinion, it was very organized, and I was pleased with my experience.
NO LONGER ONLY ON FRIDAY
Some retailers begin their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Night and extend it through Friday. However, some retailers begin their sales on the Friday after Thanksgiving and extend it through the weekend.
Are you going to participate this year? What are some steps that retailers can take to make sure there is no chaos?
Stock Photo: Courtesy of Nicole De Khors from Burst