Friday, November 26, 2010

No Black Friday Madness for Me

I indicated earlier this week  that I would not be up at 4AM or whenever different stores planned to open this morning.  I was still in bed then, not having to go to work today.  Sometime today after 11AM, though, I did go into Kmart. There still seemed to be a lot of people and it was almost impossible to find any empty space in the parking lot.  I then went to Target which was similarly busy.  I did not buy a thing at either store.   I shudder to think how many people were in the stores earlier in the morning.  is the day after after Thanksgiving generally like in the photo below? I've wondered about that, but just can't get myself  to find out.  I would never wait out in the freezing air so early in the morning and I'm glad I work somewhere that does not have to open at 3AM or sometime like that.   And if you think 3 or 4 AM is early, some stores actually opened at midnight which seems even worse.  I definitely could not go that early. 
A crowd of shoppers last Black Friday.
Incidentally, the store I work is is across the way from a Walmart Superstore, which stays open 24 hours. And Best Buy is across the street from my work.  We are next to Old Navy and Famous Footwear.  I did not work today, but knew we were opening at 7AM.  I don't know what time Old Navy or Famous Footwear or Mattress Discounters (also in the same strip) opened to day, but I'm sure they weren't too busy--who would be buying clothes, shoes or mattresses today?

I had decided in advance to take advantage of today to go to the grocery store, since I rarely get to do so on a Friday. I also decided to see "Love and Other Drugs" since I wanted to see since I heard about it. I thought it was an all right movie.  I now plan to see "Tangled" on Sunday afternoon.  After the movie today, I headed to Safeway for  groceries.  It was unbusy today, but probably because most people are eating leftovers from last night.  This was the only shopping I did today.  

Here is the origin of the term Black Friday":

Black Friday as a term has been used in multiple contexts, going back to the nineteenth century, where it was associated with a financial crisis in 1869 in the United States. The earliest known reference to "Black Friday" to refer to the day after Thanksgiving was made in a 1966 publication on the day's significance in Philadelphia:

JANUARY 1966 -- "Black Friday" is the name which the Philadelphia Police Department has given to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. It is not a term of endearment to them. "Black Friday" officially opens the Christmas shopping season in center city, and it usually brings massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to closing.[13]

The term Black Friday began to get wider exposure around 1975, as shown by two newspaper articles from November 29, 1975, both datelined Philadelphia. The first reference is in an article entitled "Army vs. Navy: A Dimming Splendor," in The New York Times:

Philadelphia police and bus drivers call it "Black Friday" - that day each year between Thanksgiving Day and the Army–Navy Game. It is the busiest shopping and traffic day of the year in the Bicentennial City as the Christmas list is checked off and the Eastern college football season nears conclusion.

The derivation is also clear in an Associated Press article entitled "Folks on Buying Spree Despite Down Economy," which ran in the Titusville Herald on the same day:

Store aisles were jammed. Escalators were nonstop people. It was the first day of the Christmas shopping season and despite the economy, folks here went on a buying spree. ... "That's why the bus drivers and cab drivers call today 'Black Friday,'" a sales manager at Gimbels said as she watched a traffic cop trying to control a crowd of jaywalkers. "They think in terms of headaches it gives them."

The term's spread was gradual, however, and in 1985 the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that retailers in Cincinnati and Los Angeles were still unaware of the term.[14]

"Black Friday" is also the title of a song by the group Steely Dan.

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