Is Thursday the New Friday?

By Tiffany Battle on November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving and Black Friday go together like PB&J. One wouldn’t seem right without the other. Each year, I look forward to filling my belly with food on Thanksgiving, falling into a food coma for a few hours, and then waking up around midnight to begin the Black Friday festivities.

Since this Friday is the big day, I figured I’d explore a little history about Black Friday and the controversy regarding early Thanksgiving Day sales.


Where did the term “Black Friday” originate?

Although the day after Thanksgiving has signaled the beginning of the Holiday Season since the 20s, with the start of the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the term “Black Friday” did not appear until the 50s. Some believe that “Black Friday” is used in the context of accounting. While red ink means a loss, black ink means a profit. Pretty straightforward. However, it appears there’s a deeper meaning.


At some point during the mid-twentieth century, Philadelphia police officers began using the term “Black Friday” to indicate an ominous, dark, and overall negative day. At least for the officers on duty, that is. As I’m sure is still the case in some places, police had a particularly rough day after thanksgiving-streets lined with people shoving each other to get the best sale, traffic jams and car accidents. Officers would work 12-hour shifts and no one was allowed off-duty.
In 1961, there was a push to call the day “Big Friday” out of fear that the negative connotations associated with the term Black Friday would deter shoppers. However, retailers soon found that wasn’t the case, and the name stuck.
The Good and the Bad
Black Friday not only kicks off the holiday shopping season, but it also feels like an extension of Thanksgiving. It’s usually a day spent shopping with family and friends, and eating leftovers from the day before.
However, the day may feel more like a burden than a holiday to those who work in retail. Like the police officers in Philadelphia, those who work in retail suffer long hours with no chance of having the day off to see their families.


Even worse is that many stores have started hosting their “Black Friday” sales on Thanksgiving, completely taking the holiday away from their employees. Some suggest that because oftentimes retail workers are given Holiday Pay, they shouldn’t complain. And while it’s true that working on a holiday has its financial benefits, it can’t replace seeing your loved ones and a nice, home-cooked meal.
Stores Taking a Stand
You may have noticed the TV commercial put out by the Tjmaxx, Marshalls, and Homegoods about remaining closed for Thanksgiving day this year. The commercial insists that their stores will remain closed to allow employees and shoppers time to spend with their loved ones.
Here is a complete list of stores remaining closed for Thanksgiving day.
Although these stores will be closed, many will still have online shopping available through their E-stores for anyone who simply can’t wait. This way, you won’t have to leave your home, or your family, to catch a great bargain.
Perhaps in this way, online Black Friday sales are a compromise: you can support retailers right to celebrate Thanksgiving while still getting your BOGO. Everyone wins.

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