As we get closer and closer to the holidays, we cannot forget the presents that go out to family and friends. The day after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday,” on this day we see people all over the nation shop at their local malls and stores in order to ensure that no one goes without presents. Although we have seen this “tradition” around for almost our whole lives, a lot of people do not know where it originated from.
The well known term “Black Friday,” was not always used in the Christmas and holiday shopping sense. It was used on Sept. 24, 1869 when the United States gold market collapsed, causing a huge financial crisis. It is said that several retail stores across the country would profit the most on the day after Thanksgiving, because they discounted several items across their stores, which caused people to come in and shop with all the money they had. The term “black,” comes from the term most businesses in the United States use for profit, “in the black,” meaning that the business is making a profit, while “in the red’’ meaning the business is in the negative, or over budget. Slowly as the years went by the term was used across the country as the day with the most discounts and sales for holiday shopping.
For the past several years, stores have prepared for their Black Friday sales by sending flyers out to their local residents about sales and discounts, as well as promotional commercials, emails, social media and advertisements on several websites.
There were set times in which stores would be opening for this big day, people lined up hours early and some even camped out in order to be the first. Stores and malls would be packed with people in every aisle and checkout line.
Although Black Friday has always been very exciting and fun, thanks to COVID-19, things will be extremely different this year.
Most stores have been trying to change the dates of their sales, for example rather than on Friday it would be moved to either Thursday, or even Wednesday.
Due to COVID-19, we know school and various jobs have gone online in order to prevent the spread, or in order to simply grant peace of mind. Because of this, stores are choosing to advertise more of their online sales, to prevent severe crowding and possible COVID-19 exposure. Since COVID-19 has yet to be contained and we see numbers increasing on a daily basis, stores like Walmart, Home Depot and Best Buy have already begun their sales weeks prior to the usual Black Friday.
Online shopping may be the only safe way to go about stocking up on those holiday gifts this year. I believe that this is one of the best options, being that you would not risk getting sick while remaining in the comforts of home with no worries about long lines. Also, because stores are trying to prevent the large number of people in their buildings, the online sales may even be better than those you may find in person and you won’t even need to fight anyone to get what you want.
On the other hand, some stores will stick with the “traditional” Black Friday. If you are planning on doing your shopping in-person, it is important to make sure you comply with the Center for Disease Control guidelines for COVID-19. This includes, remaining six feet apart, wearing a face covering and making sure to wash your hands, or sanitize when handwashing is not possible. All of this will help to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 while shopping.
Another very well-known day during this time of the year is Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is believed to have been started in the early 2000’s specifically for sales and discounts from online stores and companies, like retail stores do on Black Friday. These two have slowly become similar throughout the years because of internet development as well as the increase in online shops and businesses and it is not at all unusual to see several of the same offers and deals on both days.
If you are planning on shopping during this season, make sure to check out what your local stores and businesses are doing for this year’s Black Friday sales. Do not forget that we have the safe option to online shop and skip the lines. Keep in mind we are still living in a crazy time so why not shop in the comfort of your home. In the end it is all up to you, happy shopping.
More information on how to be safe while you are Black Friday shopping can be found at: