Black Friday is an informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The day after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of the United States Christmas shopping season since 1952.
The term “Black Friday” did not become widely used until more recent decades, during which time global retailers have adopted the term and date to market their own holiday sales.
Many stores offer highly promoted sales on Black Friday and open very early, such as at midnight, or may even start their sales at some time on Thanksgiving. 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. It is sometimes observed in lieu of another federal holiday, such as Columbus Day.
Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the following Friday off. Along with the following regular weekend, this makes Black Friday weekend a four-day weekend. Additional days off is said to increase the number of potential shoppers.
Black Friday has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States since 2005.Other news reports 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. This creates a state of positive feedback.
Since the start of the 21st century, there have been attempts by retailers with origins in the United States to introduce a retail “Black Friday” to other countries around the world. In several countries, local retailers have attempted to promote the day to remain competitive with US-based online retailers.