For the month of November we have been focusing on the importance of shopping with small businesses and this coming Small Business Saturday this November 30th. And while small businesses nationwide will be focusing efforts on bringing in customers this coming Saturday, many businesses nationwide are looking forward to this coming Friday, often known as Black Friday.
Black Friday is the official start of the holiday shopping season and is usually the busiest shopping day of the year. Shoppers have viewed Thanksgiving as the start to the holiday shopping season for almost a century. When bigger department stores began taking advantage of this, they enjoyed hosting parades which brought about the big Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which has been running in New York City since 1924. Newspapers began using the phrase “BlackFriday” in reference to this shopping day in the late 1960s in reference to the crowds at stores. Later the term stuck, using the explanation that the stores went from “red” to “black” in reference to accounting sheets where black represents a profit. Since then the term “Black Friday” has been used and has grown in popularity and a become an unofficial holiday. Of course, bigger retail chains are generating a profit long before November but they offer great deals come Black Friday that can add billions to their profits. Years ago stores began opening around 6am the morning of Black Friday with lines forming hours before that. Several of the bigger retailers then moved opening time up to 4 or 5 am. In 2011 most bigger chains moved to opening at midnight and in 2012 a few even decided to open at 8 or 9pm. While disputed in many states because of the fact that employees then have to work on Thanksgiving, crowds still gathered to start their shopping.
Most consumers shop Black Friday because of the great deals that can be found while others do it purely for the thrill. While the newspaper ads focus consumer attention on the bigger retail stores, many local businesses offer deals on Black Friday as well. Whether you shop Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, remember to put some of those consumer dollars back into your local small businesses.