Are You “In the Dark” Regarding What Black Friday Is All About?

You have probably heard the term “Black Friday” before but do you know what it is about? If not, you are probably not the only one in the dark (no pun intended). Read this article to find out it how it originated, where the name came from and what happens on this day and how it can benefit you!

How it Originated

Black Friday, is the name given to the first Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. Yes, the Americans celebrate Thanksgiving This also happens to be the fourth Friday in November of each year. Black Friday was commonly known as the day that marked the unofficial start of the Christmas holiday season.  It has been suggested that this came about since many Thanksgiving Day parades featured Santa Claus at the end of the parade with the notion that “Santa Claus is just around the corner,” as Christmas is the next holiday after Thanksgiving. In the early 20th century, many parades were sponsored by major department stores. For example, Eaton’s sponsored the Santa Claus parade in Toronto and the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade is sponsored by Macy’s. These major department stores would use these opportunities to begin advertising holiday sales. Over time, an unwritten rule was established whereby retailers would not start advertising holiday deals until after the parades. Over time the media has continuously described the day after Thanksgiving as the busiest shopping day of the year. In addition to this day informally being proclaimed the beginning of the Christmas season, many people also get the day off work and many retailers have extended store hours and offer large discounts and deals. Thus, for these reasons Black Friday has become a popular shopping day.

Where Did the Name Come from?

The term Black Friday was coined in the 1960s. It referred to stores moving from the “red” to the “black” ink when accounting records where hand written. Red ink indicated a loss and black signified a profit. However the term took a negative connotation.  In 1966 The Philadelphia Police Department used the term to describe this day as disruptive as massive traffic jams occurred, sidewalks became overcrowded and shopping lifting was amplified. This negative implication of the name started to spread outside of Philadelphia. Years later, retailers and others who relied on this day for income attempted to redefine the term to its original positive meaning of profits.

 Black Friday Today in Canada

Although Black Friday is an American tradition, many Canadian retailers offer Black Friday deals. Before this, when our dollar was strong, many Canadians would flock across the border to the U.S. to take advantage of the cheaper prices. In 2008 and 2009 when the Canadian dollar gained parity to the American dollar, many Canadian retailers began to offer Black Friday deals to discourage consumers from travelling across the border to shop. Each year Black Friday becomes bigger and better in Canada with more retailers offering deals and deeper discounts than in previous years.

 Tips for Black Friday Shopping in the Danforth Village:

To get the most out of this year’s Black Friday deals be sure to “like” the Danforth Village Business Improvement Area’s Facebook page. This will ensure you stay informed and are up-to-date on the latest deals and discounts for you to cash in on! Here are some tips so you can get the biggest bang for your buck while shopping in the Danforth Village.

1. Be prepared. This means studying the ads before Black Friday. We have not seen a lot of them yet, but you can find some ads on our Facebook page as they become available.

2. Create a budget—and stick to it.  Decide ahead of time how much you want to spend, and resist impulse buying in the store

3. Use social media. Before you decide to buy, visit the Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of the Danforth Village to find out what incentives such as discounts that stores are offering.

4. Go early. Many stores will offer only limited quantities and some have extended store hours and can open as early as 4:00-5:00 am! Find out ahead of time when the stores that you want to visit open up.

5. Have fun! Remember shopping on Black Friday can be quite exhausting and frustrating with long line-ups, overcrowded stores and congested parking lots. Take a moment to breathe! Stay focused and think about the all the savings you are getting.

Make sure you know these tips to help you navigate your way through the crowds in the Danforth Village, one of Toronto’s dynamic shopping districts.