Black Friday (shopping)
Black Friday shopping at a Target store in November 2008.
|Observed by||Traditionally: 
Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico and increasingly many other parts of the world.
|Date||Day after U.S. Thanksgiving|
|2014 date||November 28|
|2015 date||November 27|
|2016 date||November 25|
|2017 date||November 24|
|Related to||Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, Christmas|
Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (the fourth Thursday of November). For several decades, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the US, and most major retailers open very early (and more recently during overnight hours) and offer promotional sales. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe "The Day After Thanksgiving" as a holiday for state government employees, sometimes in lieu of another federal holiday such as Columbus Day. Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the following Friday off, which, along with the following regular weekend, makes it a four-day weekend, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005, although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate, have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time. Similar stories resurface year upon year at this time, portraying hysteria and shortage of stock, creating a state of positive feedback.
In 2014, spending volume on Black Friday fell for the first time since the 2008 recession. $50.9 billion was spent during the 4-day Black Friday weekend, down 11% from the previous year. However, the U.S. economy was not in a recession. Christmas creep has been cited as a factor in the diminishing importance of Black Friday, as many retailers now spread out their promotions over the entire months of November and December rather than concentrate them on a single shopping day or weekend. 
The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. However, a widespread belief is that the term represents the point in the year when retailers begin to turn a profit for the year, thus going from being "in the red" to being "in the black".
For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00 a.m., but in the late 2000s many had crept to 5:00 or even 4:00. This was taken to a new extreme in 2011, when several retailers (including Target, Kohl's, Macy's, Best Buy, and Bealls) opened at midnight for the first time. In 2012, Walmart and several other retailers announced that they would open most of their stores at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, prompting calls for a walkout among some workers. In 2014 stores such as JCPenney, Best Buy, and Radio Shack opened at 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day while stores such as Target, Walmart, Belk, and Sears opened at 6 PM on Thanksgiving Day. Three states, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts, prohibit large supermarkets, big box stores and department stores from opening on Thanksgiving, due to blue laws.
There have been reports of violence occurring between shoppers on Black Friday. Since 2006, there have been 7 reported deaths and 98 injuries throughout the United States. It is common for prospective shoppers to camp out over the Thanksgiving holiday in an effort to secure a place in front of the line and thus a better chance at getting desired items. This poses a significant safety risk (such as the use of propane and generators in the most elaborate cases, and in general, the blocking of emergency access and fire lanes), causing at least one city to ban the practice.
- 1 Shopping
- 2 Origin of the term
- 3 Violence and chaos
- 4 History
- 5 Controversy
- 6 Gray Thursday
- 7 Online
- 8 See also
- 9 References
The states which have official public holidays for state government employees on "The Day After Thanksgiving" include Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The news media have long described the day after Thanksgiving as the busiest shopping day of the year. In earlier years, this was not actually the case. In the period from 1993 through 2001, for example, White Friday ranked from fifth to tenth on the list of busiest shopping days, with the last Saturday before Christmas usually taking first place. In 2003, however, Black Friday actually was the busiest shopping day of the year, and it has retained that position every year since, with the exception of 2004, when it ranked second (after Saturday, December 18).
Black Friday is popular as a shopping day for a combination of reasons. As the first day after the last major holiday before Christmas, it marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Additionally, many employers give their employees the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In order to take advantage of this, virtually all retailers in the country, big and small, offer various sales including limited amounts of doorbuster/doorcrasher/doorsmasher items to entice traffic. Recent years have seen retailers extend beyond normal hours in order to maintain an edge, or to simply keep up with the competition. Such hours may include opening as early as 12:00 am or remaining open overnight on Thanksgiving Day and beginning sale prices at midnight. In 2010, Toys 'R' Us began their Black Friday sales at 10:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day and further upped the ante by offering free boxes of Crayola crayons and coloring books for as long as supplies lasted. Other retailers, like Sears, Express, MK, Victoria Secret, Zumiez, Tilly's, American Eagle, Nike, Jordan, Puma, Aéropostale, and Kmart, began Black Friday sales early Thanksgiving morning, and ran them through as late as 11:00 pm Friday evening. Forever 21 went in the opposite direction, opening at normal hours on Friday, and running late sales until 2:00 am Saturday morning. Historically, it was common for Black Friday sales to extend throughout the following weekend. However, this practice has largely disappeared in recent years, perhaps because of an effort by retailers to create a greater sense of urgency.
The news media usually give heavy play to reports of Black Friday shopping and their implications for the commercial success of the Christmas shopping season, but the relationship between Black Friday sales and retail sales for the full holiday season is quite weak and may even be negative.
In 2015, Neil Stern of McMillan Doolittle said, "Black Friday is quickly losing its meaning on many fronts," because many stores opened on Thanksgiving, and a lot of sales started even earlier than that. Online shopping also made the day less important.
The large population centers on Lake Ontario in Canada have always attracted cross-border shopping into the US states, and as Black Friday became more popular in the US, Canadians often flocked to the US because of their lower prices and a stronger Canadian dollar. After 2001, many were traveling for the deals across the border. Starting in 2008 and 2009, due to the parity of the Canadian dollar compared with the American dollar, several major Canadian retailers ran Black Friday deals of their own to discourage shoppers from leaving Canada.
The year 2012 saw the biggest Black Friday to date in Canada, as Canadian retailers embraced it in an attempt to keep shoppers from travelling across the border.
Before the advent of Black Friday in Canada, the most comparable holiday was Boxing Day in terms of retailer impact and consumerism. Black Fridays in the US seem to provide deeper or more extreme price cuts than Canadian retailers, even for the same international retailer.
Black Friday also occurs in the United Kingdom. One of the UK's first black Friday events took place in 2003 in Staples Corner London, hosted by UK retailer Currys. The retailers black Friday sale in its Staples Corner outlet sold laptops and other electronic devices for under £50, since then a lot other major online retailers have followed the trend like Amazon, Littlewoods, AO Retail, Cotswold Outdoor and Apple. In 2013 Asda (part of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) announced its "Walmart's Black Friday by ASDA" campaign promoting the Black Friday concept in the UK. A number of other online and instore companies are now embracing the American tradition, although others appear sceptical, with one trade publication labelling it 'simply an Americanism, which doesn't translate very well.'
In 2014, more UK-based retailers adopted the 'Black Friday' marketing scheme than ever. Included are ao.com, very.co.uk, John Lewis and Argos. They offer massively discounted prices to entice Christmas shoppers. During Black Friday sales in 2014, police forces were called to stores across the United Kingdom to deal with crowd control issues, assaults, threatening customers and traffic issues. Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, stated: "The events of last night were totally predictable and I am disappointed that stores did not have sufficient security staff on duty." In response to incidents at branches of Tesco, Greater Manchester Police's deputy chief constable Ian Hopkins said that shoppers had behaved in an "appalling" fashion and the lack of planning from retailers was "really disappointing": "They should have planned appropriately with appropriate levels of security to make sure people were safe. They have primary responsibility to keep people safe and they can’t rely on the police to turn up and bail them out and that’s what happened last night."
Asda has said that it will not take part in the 2015 Black Friday. In 2015, Black Friday was set to become the biggest day of shopping in Britain, with as much as £2bn spent in shops and online in 24 hours.
In Mexico, Black Friday was the inspiration for the government and retailing industry to create an annual weekend of discounts and extended credit terms, El Buen Fin, meaning "the good weekend" in Spanish. El Buen Fin has been in existence since 2011 and takes place on November in the weekend prior to the Monday in which the Mexican Revolution holiday is pushed from its original date of November 20, as a result of the measure taken by the government of pushing certain holidays to the Monday of their week in order to avoid the workers and students to make a ”larger” weekend (for example, not attending in a Friday after a Thursday holiday, thus making a 4-day weekend). On this weekend, major retailers extend their store hours and offer special promotions, including extended credit terms and price promotions.457
The concept was imported in Romania by eMAG and Flanco in 2011 and became bigger each year. The two reported the biggest Black Friday sales in 2014. eMAG sold products worth some 37 million euros while Flanco's sales totaled 22 million euros. Hundreds of retailers announced their participation in the 2015 campaign.
In 2015, 11 million Romanians say they have heard about Black Friday which is 73% of the 15 million people target segment. 6.7 million plan on buying something on biggest shopping event of the year in Romania.
The popularity of Black Friday is also increasing in India. The reason for this is the growing number of e-commerce websites. The big e-commerce retailers in India are trying to emulate the concept of shopping festivals from the United States like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon have been offering discounted products on the major festivals in India. December witnesses the Great Online Shopping Festival (also called GOSF) for three days where people shop from all the major e-commerce players and large FMCG brands.
According to Google Trends, the interest for Black Friday is rising every year. Comparing the search volume of the term Black Friday in November 2012 and November 2013, the increase is almost 50 percent (22,200 is the search volume in November 2012 and 33,100 is the search volume in November 2013, according to the Google Adwords).
French businessmen are slowly inserting the Black Friday consumer craze of the US. Discounts of up to 85% were given by retailing giants such as Apple and Amazon in 2014. French electronics retailers such as FNAC and Auchan advertised deals online while Darty also took part in this once a year monster Sale. Retailers favored the very American term "Black Friday" to "Vendredi noir" in their advertisements.
In recent years, Black Friday has been promoted in Australia by online retailers. In 2011, Online Shopping USA hosted an event on Twitter. Twitter users had to use the hashtag #osublackfriday and it allowed them to follow along and tweet favourite deals and discounts from stores. In 2013, Apple extended its Black Friday deals to Australia. Purchasing online gave customers free shipping and free iTunes gift cards with every purchase. The deals were promoted on their website, it read "Official Apple Store—One day Apple shopping event Friday, November 29".
In 2012, after two years of disappointing results, several department stores in Brazil joined their foreign competitors in a successful Black Friday which more than doubled the total revenue in comparison to the previous year.
Black Friday is known as Viernes Negro in Costa Rica. In Panama, Black Friday was first celebrated in 2012, as a move from the Government to attract local tourism to the country's capital city. During its first year it was believed to have attracted an inflow of about 35,000 regional tourists according to the government's immigration census.
In Germany, South Africa, Austria and Switzerland, Black Friday Sale is a joint sales initiative by hundreds of online vendors—among them Zalando, Disney Store, Galeria Kaufhof and Sony. Over its first 24-hour run on November 28, 2013, more than 1.2 million people visited the site, making it the single largest online shopping event in German speaking countries.
Origin of the term
The earliest known usage of "Black Friday" as a post-Thanksgiving shopping day appears in December 1, 1961 issue of The Shortsville-Manchester Enterprise (Shortsville, New York). This article, discovered by Barry Popik, refers to a usage by police in Rochester, New York.
Kathie Caulkin, our intrepid advertising manager, made a serious mistake in judgment last Friday. Took her three kids to Rochester on the day all city police call "Black Friday." Besides being the day after Thanksgiving—thus one of the busiest shopping days in the year—bus drivers were still on strike, adding to automotive traffic. Katie reports she waited through 13 changes of a single traffic light—then had to back up to get into the parking garage. "I didn't care if I crumpled fifty fenders at that point," Katie reports.
An article mentioning the simultaneous use of the term in Philadelphia appears in a public relations newsletter (December 18, 1961). This report notes that, as of that writing, this usage among Philadelphia police officers had already become "customary."
For downtown merchants throughout the nation, the biggest shopping days normally are the two following Thanksgiving Day. Resulting traffic jams are an irksome problem to the police and, in Philadelphia, it became customary for officers to refer to the post-Thanksgiving days as Black Friday and Black Saturday. Hardly a stimulus for good business, the problem was discussed by the merchants with their Deputy City Representative, Abe S. Rosen, one of the country's most experienced municipal PR executives. He recommended adoption of a positive approach which would convert Black Friday and Black Saturday to Big Friday and Big Saturday.
The attempt to rename Black Friday was unsuccessful, and its continued use is shown 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.
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.
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.
There is no truth in the rumor that "Black Friday" originally applied to the sales of slaves on the day after Thanksgiving; the holiday did not become an annual observance throughout the United States until after the Civil War.
|Look up in the red or in the black in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Many merchants objected to the use of a negative term to refer to one of the most important shopping days in the year. By the early 1980s, an alternative theory began to be circulated: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss for most of the year (January through November) and made their profit during the holiday season, beginning on the day after Thanksgiving. When this would be recorded in the financial records, once-common accounting practices would use red ink to show negative amounts and black ink to show positive amounts. Black Friday, under this theory, is the beginning of the period when retailers would no longer have losses (the red) and instead take in the year's profits (the black). The earliest known use that presents the "black ink theory" appeared in the edition of November 28, 1981 of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
If the day is the year's biggest for retailers, why is it called Black Friday? Because it is a day retailers make profits—black ink, said Grace McFeeley of Cherry Hill Mall. "I think it came from the media," said William Timmons of Strawbridge & Clothier. "It's the employees, we're the ones who call it Black Friday," said Belle Stephens of Moorestown Mall. "We work extra hard. It's a long hard day for the employees."
This, like the 1961 and 1966 examples from Philadelphia, above, was found by Bonnie Taylor-Blake of the American Dialect Society.
The Christmas shopping season is of enormous importance to American retailers and, while most retailers intend to and actually do make profits during every quarter of the year, some retailers are so dependent on the Christmas shopping season that the quarter including Christmas produces all the year's profits and compensates for losses from other quarters.
Violence and chaos
Despite frequent attempts to control the crowds of shoppers, minor injuries are common among the crowds, usually as a result of being pushed or thrown to the ground in small stampedes. While most injuries remain minor, serious injuries and even deliberate violence have taken place on some Black Fridays.
In 2006, a man shopping at Best Buy was recorded on video assaulting another shopper. Unruly Walmart shoppers at a store outside Columbus, Ohio, quickly flooded in the doors at opening, pinning several employees against stacks of merchandise. Nine shoppers in a California mall were injured, including an elderly woman who had to be taken to the hospital, when the crowd rushed to grab gift certificates that had been released from the ceiling.
In 2008, a crowd of approximately 2,000 shoppers in Valley Stream, New York, waited outside for the 5:00 am opening of the local Wal-Mart. As opening time approached, the crowd grew anxious and when the doors were opened the crowd pushed forward, breaking the door down, and trampling a 34-year-old employee to death. The shoppers did not appear concerned with the victim's fate, expressing refusal to halt their stampede when other employees attempted to intervene and help the injured employee, complaining that they had been waiting in the cold and were not willing to wait any longer. Shoppers had begun assembling as early as 9:00 PM the evening before. Even when police arrived and attempted to render aid to the injured man, shoppers continued to pour in, shoving and pushing the officers as they made their way into the store. Several other people incurred minor injuries, including a pregnant woman who had to be taken to the hospital. The incident may be the first case of a death occurring during Black Friday sales; according to the National Retail Federation, "We are not aware of any other circumstances where a retail employee has died working on the day after Thanksgiving."
During Black Friday 2010, a Madison, Wisconsin woman was arrested outside of a Toys 'R' Us store after cutting in line, and threatening to shoot other shoppers who tried to object. A Toys for Tots volunteer in Georgia was stabbed by a shoplifter. An Indianapolis woman was arrested after causing a disturbance by arguing with other Wal-Mart shoppers. She had been asked to leave the store, but refused. A man was arrested at a Florida Wal-Mart on drug and weapons charges after other shoppers waiting in line for the store to open noticed that he was carrying a handgun and reported the matter to police. He was discovered to also be carrying two knives and a pepper spray grenade. A man in Buffalo, New York, was trampled when doors opened at a Target store and unruly shoppers rushed in, in an episode reminiscent of the deadly 2008 Wal-Mart stampede.
On Black Friday 2011, a woman at a Porter Ranch, California Walmart used pepper spray on fellow shoppers, causing minor injuries to a reported 20 people who had been waiting hours for the store to open. The incident started as people waited in line for the newly discounted Xbox 360. A witness said a woman with two children in tow became upset with the way people were pushing in line. The witness said she pulled out pepper spray and sprayed the other people in line. Another account stated: "The store had brought out a crate of discounted Xbox 360s, and a crowd had formed to wait for the unwrapping, when the woman began spraying people 'in order to get an advantage,' according to the police. In an incident outside a Walmart store in San Leandro, California, one man was wounded after being shot following Black Friday shopping at about 1:45 am.
Also stemming from Black Friday unruliness in 2011, 73-year-old greeter Jan Sullivan was fired from a Tampa area Wal-Mart after she was shoved by a Black Friday shopper. Sullivan alleges that when she attempted to stop an unnamed woman from exiting through a door where exits were not being permitted, the woman pushed her. Sullivan claims that as she fell, she instinctively tried to grab onto the woman to keep from falling. Since Wal-Mart employees are not allowed to touch customers, Sullivan was then fired. The story has been a source of some controversy for Wal-Mart and garnered much community support for Sullivan, including media coverage and at least two Indiegogo fundraisers were launched to support her financially after the incident.
On Black Friday in 2013, a person in Las Vegas who was carrying a big-screen TV home from a Target store on Thanksgiving was shot in the leg as he tried to wrestle the item back from a robber who had just stolen it from him at gunpoint. In Romeoville IL, a police officer shot a suspected shoplifter driving a car that was dragging a fellow officer at a Kohl's department store. The suspect and the dragged officer were treated for shoulder injuries. Three people were arrested.
At the Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia a fight was caught on camera in which a woman was taken to the ground. The video also caught a separate, possibly related, fight happening simultaneously.
The day after Thanksgiving as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season may be linked together with the idea of Santa Claus parades. Parades celebrating Thanksgiving often include an appearance by Santa at the end of the parade, with the idea that 'Santa has arrived' or 'Santa is just around the corner' because Christmas is always the next major holiday following Thanksgiving.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many Santa or Thanksgiving Day parades were sponsored by department stores. These included the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, in Canada, sponsored by Eaton's, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade sponsored by Macy's. Department stores would use the parades to launch a big advertising push. Eventually it just became an unwritten rule that no store would try doing Christmas advertising before the parade was over. Therefore, the day after Thanksgiving became the day when the shopping season officially started.
Later on, the fact that this marked the official start of the shopping season led to controversy. In 1939, retail shops would have liked to have a longer shopping season, but no store wanted to break with tradition and be the one to start advertising before Thanksgiving. President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the date for Thanksgiving one week earlier, leading to much anger by the public who wound up having to change holiday plans. Some even refused the change, resulting in the U.S. citizens celebrating Thanksgiving on two separate days. Some started referring to the change as Franksgiving.
The sale day has caused a number of controversies over various practices:
- Making unreasonable demands on staff, including requiring them to work, often long shifts, during Thanksgiving.
- Health and safety risks due to insufficient staff for crowd management.
- Selling "derivative" products manufactured just for Black Friday with lower specifications.
- Many employees are left with no choice but to work. (work on Thanksgiving/Black Friday or be terminated) 
Kmart began the trend of opening on "Gray Thursday" by opening at 7am, Thanksgiving morning, to appeal to those who wanted to miss any Black Friday traffic altogether, but still be home in time to have dinner with their families. As far back as 2009, Kmart has been utilizing this trend. It wasn't until 2012, with backlash from the media, that Kmart started only opening at 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day, but staying open straight through Black Friday instead.
In recent years, retailers have been trending towards opening on Gray Thursday, occurring Thanksgiving evening. In 2011, Walmart began its holiday sale at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day for the first time. In 2012, Walmart began its Black Friday sales at 8 p.m. the day before on Thanksgiving; stores that are normally open 24 hours a day on a regular basis started their sales at this time, while stores that do not have round-the-clock shopping hours opened at 8 p.m. Competitors Sears and Kmart also opened at 8 p.m. on Thursday night, while Target and Toys "R" Us opened at 9 p.m. Other retailers, such as Lord & Taylor opened on Thanksgiving for the first time. In 2013, more retailers announced plans to open earlier on Thanksgiving. Kmart planned to open at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving and stay open for 41 consecutive hours until 11 p.m. Friday. Toys "R" Us opened at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Walmart planned to start Black Friday sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving while Best Buy planned to open at 6 p.m. JCPenney, Kohl's, Macy's, Sears, and Target planned to open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. In addition, Simon Property Group planned to open its malls at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. 15,000 consumers "stormed the entrances" at Macy's Herald Square for the 8:00 PM opening on Thursday.
The 2014 "Gray Thursday" sales were, in general, a failure, as overall sales for the holiday weekend fell 11% compared to the previous year despite heavy traffic at the stores on Thanksgiving night. In response, a number of retailers decided to go back to closing on Thanksgiving for 2015, and Wal-Mart, although it is holding firm opening on the holiday and holding its sale, also pledged to offer the same deals online for those who wished to stay home.
Advertising tip sites
Some websites offer information about day-after-Thanksgiving specials up to a month in advance. The text listings of items and prices are usually accompanied by pictures of the actual ad circulars. These are either leaked by insiders or intentionally released by large retailers to give consumers insight and allow them time to plan.
In recent years, some retailers (including Walmart, Target, OfficeMax, Big Lots, and Staples) have claimed that the advertisements they send in advance of Black Friday and the prices included in those advertisements are copyrighted and are trade secrets.
Some of these retailers have used the take-down system  of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as a means to remove the offending price listings. This policy may come from the fear that competitors will slash prices, and shoppers may comparison shop. The actual validity of the claim that prices form a protected work of authorship is uncertain as the prices themselves (though not the advertisements) might be considered a fact in which case they would not receive the same level of protection as a copyrighted work.[original research?]
The benefit of threatening Internet sites with a DMCA based lawsuit has proved tenuous at best. While some sites have complied with the requests, others have either ignored the threats or simply continued to post the information under the name of a similar sounding fictional retailer. However, careful timing may mitigate the take-down notice. An Internet service provider in 2003 brought suit against Best Buy, Kohl's, and Target Corporation, arguing that the take-down notice provisions of the DMCA are unconstitutional. The court dismissed the case, ruling that only the third-party posters of the advertisements, and not the ISP itself, would have standing to sue the retailers.
Usage of Black Friday Advertising Tip sites and buying direct varies by state in the U.S., influenced in large part by differences in shipping costs and whether a state has a sales tax. However, in recent years, the convenience of online shopping has increased the number of cross-border shoppers seeking bargains from outside of the U.S., especially from Canada. Statistics Canada indicates that online cross-border shopping by Canadians has increased by about 300M a year since 2002. The complex nature of additional fees such as taxes, duties and brokerage can make calculating the final cost of cross-border Black Friday deals difficult. Dedicated cross-border shopping solutions such as the Canadian shopping platform Wishabi and Canada Post’s Borderfree exist to mitigate the problem through estimation of the various cost involved.
The term Cyber Monday, a neologism invented in 2005 by the National Retail Federation's division Shop.org, refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday based on a trend that retailers began to recognize in 2003 and 2004. Retailers noticed that many consumers, who were too busy to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend or did not find what they were looking for, shopped for bargains online that Monday from home or work. In 2010, Hitwise reported that:
Thanksgiving weekend offered a strong start, especially as Black Friday sales continued to grow in popularity. For the 2nd consecutive year, Black Friday was the highest day for retail traffic during the holiday season, followed by Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. The highest year-over-year increases in visits took place on Cyber Monday and Black Friday with growth of 16% and 13%, respectively.
In 2013, Cyber Monday online sales grew by 18% over the previous year, hitting a record $1.73 billion, with an average order value of $128. In 2014, Cyber Monday was the busiest day of the year with sales exceeding $2 billion in desktop online spending, up 17% from the previous year.
As reported in the Forbes "Entrepreneurs" column on December 3, 2013: "Cyber Monday, the online counterpart to Black Friday, has been gaining unprecedented popularity—to the point where Cyber Sales are continuing on throughout the week." Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor for CBS News, further advises: "If you want a real deal on Black Friday, stay away from the mall. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all part of Cyber Week [...]"
The National Retail Federation releases figures on the sales for each Thanksgiving weekend. The Federation's definition of “Black Friday weekend” includes Thursday, Friday, Saturday and projected spending for Sunday. The survey estimates number of shoppers, not number of people.
The length of the shopping season is not the same across all years: the date for Black Friday varies between November 23 and 29, while Christmas Eve is fixed at December 24. 2012 had the longest shopping season since 2007.
|Year||Date||Survey published||Shoppers (millions)||Average spent||Total spent||Consumers polled||Margin for error|
|2014||Nov 28||Nov 30||233||$380.95||$50.9 billion||4,631||1.5%|
|2013||Nov 29||Dec 1||249||$407.02||$57.4 billion||4,864||1.7%|
|2012||Nov 23||Nov 25||247||$423.66||$59.1 billion||4,005||1.6%|
|2011||Nov 25||Nov 27||226||$398.62||$52.5 billion||3,826||1.6%|
|2010||Nov 26||Nov 28||212||$365.34||$45.0 billion||4,306||1.5%|
|2009||Nov 27||Nov 29||195||$343.31||$41.2 billion||4,985||1.4%|
|2008||Nov 28||Nov 30||172||$372.57||$41.0 billion||3,370||1.7%|
|2007||Nov 23||Nov 25||147||$347.55||$34.6 billion||2,395||1.5%|
|2006||Nov 24||Nov 26||140||$360.15||$34.4 billion||3,090||1.5%|
|2005||Nov 25||Nov 27||132||$301.81||$26.8 billion|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Black Friday (shopping).|
- "Black Friday" (South Park)
- Black Friday Sale
- Buy Nothing Day
- Cyber Monday
- Giving Tuesday
- Green Monday
- Singles Day, also known as 11.11 (November 11), a day for unmarried people popular among Chinese youth, but promoted by Alibaba Group as an online shopping day. Alibaba reported sales of more than $9 billion for November 2014. It is the largest online shopping day in the world.
- Small Business Saturday
- Super Saturday (Panic Saturday)
- Boxing Day
- "Pima County in Arizona Replaces Columbus Day with Black Friday". BestBlackFriday.com. August 7, 2013.
- International Council of Shopping Centers. "Holiday Watch: Media Guide 2006 Holiday Facts and Figure" (PDF).; ShopperTrak, Press Release, ShopperTrak Reports Positive Response to Early Holiday Promotions Boosts Projections for 2010 Holiday Season at the Wayback Machine (archived November 29, 2010) (November 16, 2010).
- International Council of Shopping Centers. "Daily Sales Comparison Top Ten Holiday Shopping Days (1996–2001)" (PDF).
- E.g., Karr, Albert R. (November 26, 1982). "Downtown Firms Aid Transit Systems to Promote Sales and Build Good Will \work= Wall Street Journal". p. 6; "Holiday Shoppers Jam U.S. Stores". The New York Times. Associated Press. November 28, 1981. p. 30.
- "What Really Happened on Black Friday (By The Numbers)". PYMNTS.com. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
- Zimmer, Ben (November 25, 2011). "The Origins of "Black Friday". Word Routes.
- Apfelbaum, Martin L. (January 2025). "Philadelphia's 'Black Friday'". American Philatelist 69 (4): 239. Check date values in:
- Drum, Kevin (November 26, 2010). "Black Friday".
- Albright, Mark. "Holiday Shopping Strategy Guide for Black Friday". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
- Sneed, Tierney (November 23, 2011). "Does 'Black Friday' Start Too Early This Year?". U.S. News & World Report.
- Fox, Emily. "Wal-Mart Workers Plan Black Friday Walkout". CNN Money (CNN). Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- "Thanksgiving Shopping Is Banned Here". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
- Grinberg, Emmanuella. "Retail Employees Fight 'Black Friday Creep'". CNN. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- "Black Friday Death Count". blackfridaydeathcount.com. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
- McCool, Tracy (November 27, 2014). "No Black Friday Camping Allowed Outside One Best Buy Store". WJW-TV. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
- Yi, David (November 23, 2010). "Black Friday Deals for Target, H&M, Forever21, Old Navy, Radio Shack, and More". Daily News (New York).
- "Black Friday Moves to Thursday as Stores Woo Shoppers". Financially. Yahoo! Finance. November 23, 2010. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- Irwin, Neil (November 23, 2012). "Black Friday Is a Bunch of Meaningless Hype, in One Chart". Washington Post.
- Preddy, Melissa (July 9, 2014). "Fresh Peg on New Domain Names: 'dot-vodka', 'dot-Christmas', 'dot-fail'". Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism / Arizona State University. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
- "Delegated Strings".
- Karp, Gregory (November 23, 2015). "Is Black Friday dying?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
- "Canadian Retailers Test Their Own Black Friday". CBC News. November 27, 2009.
- "Canadian Retailers Fight Back Against Black Friday Deals". Toronto Star. 2012.
- "Canadian Retailers Embracing Black Friday to Keep Shopping Dollars on Home Turf". National Post. 2012.
- "Amazon Brings Black Friday to the UK". Blu-Ray.com. November 21, 2010.
- "Apple's Australian Store Discounts Most Things by Around 10 Percent, Foreshadows Black Friday Deals". Engadget. November 25, 2010.
- "Comment: Why We Should Ignore Black Friday in the UK". Retail Week.
- "'Black Friday': Police Called to Supermarket Crowds". BBC News. November 28, 2014.
- Dearden, Lizzie (November 28, 2014). "Black Friday UK: The Shops Hit by Chaos and Violence as Shopping Frenzy Sweeps Country". The Independent (London).
- Silverman, Rosa (November 28, 2014). "Chaos and Violence Marrs [sic] Black Friday Across Country". The Telegraph (London).
- "Asda to Shun Black Friday Sales". BBC News. November 10, 2015.
- "Asda Steps Away from Tradition and Gives 2015 Christmas Campaign a Fresh, Modern Festive Twist" (Press release). Asda. November 1, 2015.
- "What is Black Friday and who's to blame for it?". Guardian. 27 November 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- "UK retailers brace for online onslaught of Black Friday shoppers". Guardian. 27 November 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- "Mexico Introduces Its Own Version of 'Black Friday'-Style Shopping Blitz". Wall Street Journal. November 18, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- "Romanian Retailers Import ‘Black Friday’ Concept". El Rancho. November 25, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
- "The Retailer that Hosts the Biggest Shopping Event of the Year: 6.7 mln Romanians Want to Buy Something on Black Friday". El Rancho. November 17, 2015.
- "Black Friday Struggles to Seduce French Shoppers". The Local. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- "'Black Friday' : comment les marques françaises tentent de surfer sur ces soldes à l'américaine". Le Huffington Post (in French). Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- "Black Friday Goes Global as Retailers Import the US Spending Holiday". CNET. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- "Black Friday Shopping Live in Australia". RetailBiz.com. November 22, 2011.
- "Apple's Black Friday Deals Go Live in Australia". Sydney Morning Herald. November 29, 2013.
- "Clientes esperaban ofertas más agresivas este Viernes Negro". La Nación (in Spanish). November 29, 2013.
- "Black Friday i Sverige" [Black Friday in Sweden]. Veckans Affärer. November 28, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- "Le Black Friday s'invite dans les enseignes françaises" [Black Friday Shows up Among French Retailers]. Le Figaro (in French). November 28, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- Dougan, Patrice (November 27, 2015). "Black Friday mania to hit New Zealand". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
- "snopes.com: How Did 'Black Friday' Get Its Name?". Urban Legends Reference Pages. Snopes.com. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- "Around and About". The Shortsville-Manchester Enterprise. December 1, 1961. p. 4.
- Griswold, Denny (December 18, 1961). "Black Friday (Day after Thanksgiving), 1961". Public Relations News.
- Lin, Jennifer (November 30, 1985). "Why the Name Black Friday? Uh ... Well ...". Philadelphia Inquirer.
- "Black Friday". Snopes. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
- "Black Friday FAQ". BFAds.net.
- "Shoppers Flood Stores for 'Black Friday'". Philadelphia Inquirer. November 28, 1981.
- E.g., Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Fiscal Year Ended Feb. 2, 2008 (Report). Toys "R" Us, Inc. p. 91.
- Popken, Ben (November 27, 2006). "Consumers Gone Wild: Roundup of Black Friday Violence". The Consumerist. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- Barbaro, Michael (November 25, 2006). "Attention, Holiday Shoppers: We Have Fisticuffs in Aisle 2". The New York Times.
- [dead link]
- "Wal-Mart Worker Dies When Shoppers Break Down Doors". Fox News. November 28, 2008.
- Gould, Joe; Trapasso, Clare; Schapiro, Rich (November 28, 2008). "Worker Dies at Long Island Wal-Mart After Being Trampled in Black Friday Stampede". Daily News (New York). Archived from the original on November 28, 2008.
- "Wal-Mart Worker Dies in Rush: Two Killed at Toy Store". CNN. November 28, 2008.
- "Shots Fired at Toys R Us in Palm Desert; 2 Dead". Los Angeles Times. November 28, 2008.
- "Black Friday Shopper Accused of Gun Threat". CNN. November 26, 2010.
- [dead link]
- "Woman Arrested In Walmart Black Friday Dispute". Theindychannel.com. Indianapolis: WRTV. November 26, 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- "Black Friday shopper arrested on weapons, drug charges in Boynton Beach | boynton, arrested, beach". West Palm Beach: WPEC. November 26, 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- "Black Friday shoppers trampled in New York". CNN. November 28, 2010.
- Jablon, Robert (November 25, 2011). "Woman pepper sprays other Black Friday shoppers". Yahoo! News. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- Wildermuth, John (November 26, 2011). "Black Friday shopper shot in robbery attempt". San Francisco Chronicle.
- McLean, Tessa (July 5, 2012). "Black Friday Meant the End of Life as She Knew It for a 73-Year-Old Walmart Greeter". blackfriday.bradsdeals.com. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- "2 shot at Florida Walmart over parking space, police say". Fox News. November 23, 2012.
- "Shopper carrying TV home from Target shot in Las Vegas". Las Vegas Sun.
- Adam, Sege. "Charges filed after shoplifting suspect shot by police". Chicago Tribune.
- "Women Get Into Black Friday Stun Gun Fight Inside the Mall". YouTube.
- "Congress Establishes Thanksgiving". Retrieved November 15, 2009.
- "Kmart To Employee: ‘If You Do Not Come To Work On Thanksgiving, You Will Automatically Be Fired’". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
- Li, Shan (November 21, 2011). "Black Friday becoming Black Thursday as stores open on Thanksgiving". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
- Clifford, Stephanie (November 9, 2012). "Make Room for Deals After Turkey This Year". New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
- "2013 Thanksgiving and Black Friday Store Hours". Carterville, IL: WSIL-TV. November 12, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Davis, Julie (November 12, 2013). "Will You Shop the King of Prussia Mall on Thanksgiving?". Racked. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
- "Shoppers Throng to Stores". WWD. November 29, 2013.
- Castellano, Anthony (November 22, 2012). "Black Friday Shopping Kicks Off After Thanksgiving Dinner". ABC News. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- Sreenivasan, Hari (November 22, 2012). "How 'Black Friday' Morphed Into 'Gray Thursday'". PBS. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- "Punchlines: The new Black Friday is Brown Thursday". USA Today. November 22, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- Tabuchi, Tiroko (December 1, 2014). "Black Friday Fatigue? Thanksgiving Weekend Sales Slide 11 Percent". The New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- Fores, Betsi (November 12, 2015). "Wal-Mart Just Made a Black Friday Announcement that Might Be a Game Changer". Rare.us. Associated Press. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- "Sale fight no fright for area Web site". Charleston Gazette & Daily Mail. November 26, 2002.
- "Take Down Letters". hBlackFridayDeals.com. November 1, 2015.
- Feist Publications, Inc., v. Rural Telephone Service Co., 499 U.S. 340 (1991).
- Fatwallet, Inc. v. Best Buy Enterprises Services, 2004 WL 793548 (N.D.Ill. 2004).
- Black Friday Advertising:"Black Friday Ads". Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- "Canadian Economic Observer". Stats Canada. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- "cross-border shopping". Wishabi. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- Hof, Robert D. (November 29, 2005). "Cyber Monday, Marketing Myth". Business Week. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- "Hitwise: Retail traffic up throughout holidays". December 28, 2010.
- "Cyber Monday Jumps 18 Percent to $1.73 billion in 2013". comscore.com. November 1, 2015.
- "Cyber Monday 2015 Expectations". 1cybermondaydeals.com. November 1, 2015.
- "Cyber Week: Crash Prevention Tips". Forbes. December 3, 2013.
- Greenberg, Peter (November 20, 2013). "The Ultimate Guide to Cyber Week Travel Deals: Black Friday, Cyber Monday & More". The Huffington Post.
- "Black Friday Weekend Shines as Shoppers Line up for Deals".