Talk:Black Friday (shopping)

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Gray Thursday Revisited?[edit]

Hadn't really heard about "Gray Thursday" much, but I got here after saying "Black Thursday" earlier and wondering whether it was a generally-used term. Did a Google search for " 'Black Thursday' Thanksgiving" and got 71,000 hits, compared with 15,000 for "Gray Thursday". I think the sarcastic humor of "Black Thursday" has prevailed, even if some people still think that "Gray Thursday" sounds clever. Not saying it shouldn't be mentioned, but "Black Thursday" seems to be the more common term. P Aculeius (talk) 23:45, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Gray Thursday has been around for a couple of years due to stores opening on Thanksgiving to try and get those eager customers. This year it has popped up as a term tied with stores now proclaiming they will remain closed on Thanksgiving. Heyyouoverthere (talk) 07:36, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I understand what it means and why the term arose. That's not the question. The question is whether "Black Thursday" is the more common term, and based on what I readily admit was a very cursory search, it appears to be about 4 1/2 times more common. Even if the true difference is less pronounced, if "Black Thursday" is the more common term, then that's how the section should be written. I note that there's a likely divergence between terms used by the public or shoppers as opposed to retailers; "Black Thursday" seems to be used disparagingly to refer to the creep of the retail shopping season into the holiday, while retailers might prefer "Gray Friday" because it's less sarcastic and more innocuous. P Aculeius (talk) 14:32, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
In the media world, Gray Thursday is utilized a lot more to help differentiate the two days when reporting on sales figures, what stores are open/closed and overall madness. At least from what I have seen and from the news story we just did. Part of which we interviewed a marketing professor who said that these days it should be considered CyberWeek as many people would rather shop from home and have vendors like Amazon deliver it. Judging from the lack of overwhelming crowds at many locations in my area, that would be the case. And from looking at the ads myself, not much to motivate me to go out and shop. Heyyouoverthere (talk) 17:38, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
Again, the question is not what some people call it or why they call it that. The question is whether the term "Gray Thursday" has in fact surpassed "Black Thursday" in terms of widespread recognition and usage. Unless there's some clear evidence that it has, this section should return to "Black Thursday", which is apparently how it was titled until it was changed without discussion by an IP editor on November 16, 2014. P Aculeius (talk) 18:10, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I would say "Gray Thursday" has in fact surpassed "Black Thursday". You could always take a poll of the public, shoppers and non, the retail workers and the National Retail Federation. Heyyouoverthere (talk) 21:37, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
We can't really poll anyone. I know the line between provable fact and original research can be rather fuzzy, but we're not equipped to poll anyone, and have no criteria for judging the accuracy of the results if we did. There's simply no way we can do that and have a meaningful, reliable answer. If you don't have any statistics, I suggest we go with the Google search results above, which provided 71,000 hits for "Black Thursday + Thanksgiving" and 15,000 for "Gray Thursday". If someone comes up with a better measurement, we can reconsider. P Aculeius (talk) 22:24, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

I've never even HEARD of Grey Thursday -- both the media and the retail flyers in my area consistently use "Black Thursday". And given that google backs you up almost 5 to 1, what are these people arguing about?!

And CyberWeek refers to the FOLLOWING week, not the one with Black/Grey Thursday and Friday in it, Heyyou.

Bigger question: why are they spelling grey the British way? Might be "Gray Thursday" somewhere in London, but since most of the article is about the US, at least spell it our way!

(On a similar note, tho, as American "Black Friday" creeps into the UK, has their original use of the term faded away? I note that the link explaining it is actually titled "Mad Friday".

And w/o Thanksgiving per se, are they still using our date? Black Friday for the day after US Thanksgiving and Mad Friday for the final one before Christmas ("previously known as Black Friday")...is THAT where we're at here?

Someone in the know pls correct that section. Rly confusing as it now stands!) 209.172.23.158 (talk) 00:40, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

I've heard the Thursday before Black Friday called "Gravy Thursday" (both an homage to Thanksgiving and alluding to extra, off-the-top "gravy" to the retailers preceding Black Friday). Don't know if it's an 'authorized' term, but it sounds like it should catch on. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.95.51.24 (talk) 19:14, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

Origin of term[edit]

I've removed the strong claim in the lede that the term originated in Philadelphia as a police term for a busy day. The sources all seem less than definitive, and admit per the text of the sources that they are speculating. The exposition in the body of the article reads like a lot of WP:OR. Are there any definitive sources either for what the origin is, or that the origin is unknown? - Wikidemon (talk) 04:33, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Searched the New York Times archives for references to "Black Friday". The earliest references describe disasters relating to the Civil War and its aftermath, then overtaken by the Black Friday panic of 1866, and then all other mentions are eclipsed by Black Friday of 1869, which seems to have been the one event which more than any other defined the term for more than a century; the only other repeated references are allusions to it, including Black Friday of 1929 and many other "Black Fridays" on various stock markets in Europe and America. The term was also applied to massacres, riots, and similar events (literal massacres as well as mass firings in the business world), as well as a very successful race horse, and a popular film starring Boris Karloff, but Black Friday of 1869 seems to have been the Black Friday up until the 1980's.
The November 29, 1975 article describing how police in Philadelphia refer to the day after Thanksgiving as "Black Friday" is the first mention I could find associating it with the day. So it does look as though this use of the term, which is consistent with the history of the term and not with some rosy notion of getting one's books "in the black" is the origin of the use of "Black Friday" as applied to the day after Thanksgiving. I can't vouch for the earlier citations, but since the earliest use of the term (as applied to the day after Thanksgiving) in the Times refers to its use by the Philadelphia police, they're probably credible, and I wouldn't disregard them. Maybe better sources could be found in Philadelphia newspapers, but without access to those I can't do a search. P Aculeius (talk) 15:24, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
I think it is important to point out in the article that the early police use was not racially motivated, for example, that the day brought out a lot of black shoppers and the police were worried about interactions and scuffles with whites. Blacks were generally called Negroes back then. The Merriam-Webster.com dictionary site defines "black" as '"8b. marked by the occurrence of disaster [black Friday]." The police meant that there was a lot of commotion, pedestrian and road traffic, accidents, thefts, arguments, etc., involving everyone, which we still see today. Here is useful additional research: How one Webster dictionary defined "Negro" in the 1950s. I'm not a regular editor here and defer to others. 5Q5 (talk) 15:02, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
I recently expanded the origin of the term but after reading through your discussion, is this even worth including. The section currently seems all over the place. Meatsgains (talk) 21:42, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
I think it could use a rewrite, and some consolidation, but we still need to have a section. It seems quite likely that the term dates to at least 1961, as some of the sources indicate, and probably before; we have a clear statement from the Times in 1975, and then a later but popular guess by those unaware of the term's origin. I don't see the point in including a disclaimer about the "black" not meaning "negro" since as far as I know, nobody thinks that it does; that just doesn't make any sense to me. I considered deleting the reference to a myth about slave markets, but Snopes is a reputable site, so I suppose the rumor is out there, and so it probably should be mentioned, even though it's clearly discredited. P Aculeius (talk) 23:11, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, feel free to rewrite the content I added. I actually think the entire section needs revision but don't think I should be responsible for it. I also agree that the disclaimer about the "Black Friday" myth does not need to be included. That may only be a minority view and WP:UNDUE. Meatsgains (talk) 03:08, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Okay, revised substantially and shortened to five paragraphs, eliminating the block quotes, which seemed unnecessary. I also shortened the "Black Thursday" section, removing the list of retailers who were or weren't open in various years and their opening times. Better to summarize an industry-wide trend than trying to document every significant example. The violence section should also be reduced to a summary, IMO. As you observed, a list of random incidents of violence over a number of years seems like undue weight. However, I don't have the energy to tackle that right now! P Aculeius (talk) 14:05, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Good work, looks great! The new revised version does a much better job of summarizing the events. If I can find the time, I will condense the violence section. Would you suggest keeping a list or combine and summarize without including specific events? Meatsgains (talk) 17:14, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Glad you think I did a good job. I wouldn't bother with a list at all, although I might mention the fact that fights, injuries, tramplings, or shootings have been documented in recent years (and were rumored long before that). If there are any particularly egregious examples you might allude to them, but only briefly, and at most one or two of them. More than that would, I think, give undue weight to rare but highly-publicized events. P Aculeius (talk) 17:30, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

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Dates[edit]

With other moveable feasts, there is usually a box showing the date in the current year and the following years. Could you put one? Thanks. --Error (talk) 20:56, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

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