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Friday, 25 November 2016


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My understanding is that today is when retailers begin to operate "in the black", having operated in red ink for the whole year so far

... but I like your explanations better!

I first heard the term Black Friday on Thanksgiving Day in 1969.

My cousin was a buyer for Wanamaker's department store in downtown Philadelphia. At one point she said how much she dreaded Black Friday. When asked about the term she explained the Philadelphia police coined the phrase because the influx of shoppers caused them a lot of extra work.

Black Friday has infected Canada as well. Because, you know, we can't have too many reasons to shop.

Foolishly, because I pay no attention to US holidays, I bought an Oly E-M5 Mrk2 two weeks ago, and this morning I found out that if I waited to buy it this morning, I could have saved myself $200. This is the same mechanism that has me looking for winter clothes in, of all times, winter. Stupid me. On the plus side, I'm at home today having tea and cake and not outside stuck in traffic.

Isn't it sad how we reduce the meaning of all holidays to shopping? It's a mighty thin thread to hang a culture on.

Clearly not a day off for TOP, hooray for that!

Here in Canada, Black Friday has become an annual event as well, even though it's just another ordinary day here (Thanksgiving in Canada is a low-key, early October holiday).

Historically, the really big sales have come on the day after Christmas (Boxing Day), with all the ensuing chaos (and concerns about ruining the spirit of the season) that one sees on Black Friday in the USA.

In the UK, iirc, 'Black Friday' was originally the Friday before Christmas and so named because of the large spike in the number of drunken injuries turning up at A&E.

Having been a buyer at the old Montgomery Ward, what John H said is correct.

The "Life of Brian" reference made my day!

Black Friday is in full effect here in Canada now (and has been for a few years) even though our Thanksgiving was ages ago. But it is really Black Weekend with a lot of lead up hype.

Without fail, I always find myself needing to watch money at this time of year so I never feel in a position to take advantage. Dark indeed.

When I flew out of Heathrow at the beginning of November, they already had the Christmas displays up in the Terminal 5 stores.

Black Friday started last Monday.... will it ever end?

Through Amazon and its multi-country domination of on-line retailing Black Friday has become a 'tradition' throughout the world. I live in Italy (originally.... well let's say Canadian) and how many times have I heard people tell me that they are waiting for Black Friday to get a bargain when they don't even know what it is. All of the Italian retailers, on-line or not, have had to respond to the Amazon American tradition. Thanks for the cultural invasion Amazon, and by moving to Italy I thought I was getting further away from the American cultural 'hegemony' ...
Thanks Amazon....

REI created Opt Outside last year. They have their winter sale the week before TG week, then close up on both TG and BF, and try to encourage people to go outside and have fun instead of shopping. Several other outdoor gear companies in the pacific northwet have joined them. One can only hope the idea spreads.

I've read that in the UK, Memorial Day, known there as Remembrance Day, is celebrated with ceremonies at cemeteries and war monuments, and with little parades. While here in the good ole US of A, it's celebrated by mattress sales.

Here in Australia Black Friday was a terrible bushfire incident in January 1939. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_bushfires

Then suddenly this year there seems to be a celebratory mood and excitement about "Black Friday", which does seem to be a bit macabre. There's no reason for the sales here (or the name) other than globalisation.

In London, Xmas decorations have been up in shops since Halloween. Its another reason to be thankful for thanksgiving.

Black Friday was introduced to Japan just this year. Japan's behemoth "Aeon" chain seems to have decided that it is time. Nobody has any idea what it is (in that sense it's pretty much the same as Christmas and Halloween), but any excuse to shop and party is welcome.

I didn't shop; instead, I went out in the afternoon and took some photographs! It had turned sunny, possibly the last autumn day, so I drove into the Peak District and walked along Froggett Edge with my camera. Wonderful light, the air quite still, and smoke from bonfires of autumn leaves in the valley below hanging in the air. And I didn't spend any money.

All the advertising just means I have a constant earworm of that Steely Dan song.

Though here in the UK we're now getting "Black Five Days" as retailers expand their offers beyond a single day.

"Black Friday" is an event conjured up by American news media in collusion with advertisers to combat declining newspaper and radio/TV revenues.
It's been promoted from the start as the "busiest shopping day of the year" in spite of the fact the most money is spent the Saturday before Christmas, or as the day that retailers' ledgers turn from red ink to black, which is hard to believe on its face.
The endless promotion over the decades has been successful, as seen in camping grounds set up outside stores and the wild mobs that charge in when the doors open.
It makes me wonder what would Jesus think?

Been in retail advertising for 30 years, John H is correct...Back in the early days (pre-80's) moderate-to-better" department stores (think Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago, Boston Store in Milwaukee), actually ran pretty much at a loss most of the year, only rising into the black with post Thanks-giving, Christmas sales (hence "Black-Friday"). This was an acknowledged term from way back in the 30's and 40's! It's got nothing to do with drinking, accidents, nor anything else.

Interestingly enough, most "M-To-B" department stores, as well as many other retailers, could not function with that sales arc anymore, and I remember back in the 80's sitting in on meetings to make our store chain at least moderately profitable all year long: the wisdom being, if you were making less than expenses all year, and then had a bad Christmas, you were a gonner!

Good to remember that a lot of businesses in the "olden days", plodded along for years (especially retail), making 3%-7% profit on gross sales, and everyone was happy, and it was repeatable years on end. Now business analysts black-mark businesses that aren't pushing 20% or better per year (which virtually never happened pre-tech biz to the majority)!Black Indeed!

A there was the USA throughout Thanksgiving Day behaving as it always has to Native Americans -- beating hell out of them and stealing their land. https://consortiumnews.com/2016/11/22/a-tradition-of-forgetting-indian-rights/

Give thanksgiving away, Mike, it is totally ignoring what happened in respect of the pilgrim lot and how they accepted the hand of friendship then chopped it off at the shoulder and went right ahead stealing the land from people who had (mistakenly) offered them hospitality.

And in any case, the whole thing is totally irrelevant to all the invaders in the south.

[Harsh, you lot! --Mike]

Mike!!! here you re talking up Amazon and they are holding a MONTH LONG "Black Friday". http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-holidayshopping-blackfriday-idUSKBN13I14W

Mind you, Christmas shopping has been underway for a month or more in Australia.

Here in paradise, the local supermarket was putting up a bit of tinsel when I dropped in for a dozen eggs this morning and they did have Xmas songs on he PS (I took out my hearing aid).

A bakery did get confused gave us a day of Hot-X buns a couple of months ago.

Nearly all the Xmas shopping happens here in the last few days before Xmas. Only problem this year is that cruise ships are coming in on the 23rd and 24th -- that means tourists will take nearly all the buses off heir normal runs so most people won't be able to get to the stores. Should be interesting!

Cheers, Geoff

This year the Black Friday came over to Finland in force. Yet another sign of American cultural colonialism I thought. But I guess it's not your fault our businesses want to copy the holiday... Couldn't they come up with something original themselves though? I decided to ignore the whole thing.

It just so happens that the largest reseller of used cameras in Finland put all of their stuff on sale, including a used Leica M8. I had been thinking for some time about going for this "one year, one camera" thing you proposed a few years back, so I couldn't resist the urge.

So much for ignoring the American nonsense... Since some people are also celebrating Buy Nothing Day I also made an agreement with myself to stop all camera purchases for the year since now I've got all I need. We'll see how that goes. The devil's already whispering in my ear about a bag, another lens, a flash unit and so on.

Here in New Zealand, Black Friday was always Friday the 13th of any month. A day when an uncommon amount of bad luck appears to descend on the world's population. We Kiwis inherited it from our European forebears who brought this superstition with them along with fear of black cats, walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, not giving a purse or wallet without a coin enclosed, placing new footwear on the table, opening umbrellas inside and all sorts of other such nonsense.
But here too the US version of Black Friday has taken its grip on consumers' minds, despite not having a Thanksgiving tradition to rationalise it with.

I thought you were taking four days off, Mike. But you appear to have succumbed after two.

Not that we mind!

Also adopted recently here in Portugal... not sure if it is a good or bad thing really. Oh, but we do not have the day off.

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