Did you notice retailers got a jump on Black Friday this year?
The year's most popular discount shopping event, referring to the Friday after Thanksgiving, arrived ahead of Halloween with some promotions beginning the last week of October and others throughout November.
Radio stations started playing Christmas music the beginning of November and sales are everywhere while Santa Claus will be ringing the Christmas bells bright and early this coming Black Friday.
It seem like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving day many stores like Target, Kmart and Walmart open their doors to great sales before Black Friday. Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. While the origin of the term is debated, it is today associated with special sales and promotions retailers use to encourage shoppers to during the holiday weekend.
If you ask most people why the day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday, they'll explain that the name stems from retailers using the day's huge receipts as their opportunity to "get in the black" and become profitable for the year.
The first recorded uses of the term "Black Friday" are a bit less rosy, though.
According to researchers, the name "Black Friday" dates back to Philadelphia in the mid-1960s. The Friday in question is nestled snugly between Thanksgiving and the traditional Army-Navy football game played in Philadelphia on the following Saturday, so the City of Brotherly Love was always bustling with activity on that day.
All of the people were great for retailers but they were a huge pain for police officers, cab drivers, and anyone who had to negotiate the city's streets. They started referring to the annual day of commercial bedlam as "Black Friday" to reflect how irritating it was.
In many cities, it is not uncommon to see shoppers lined up for hours before stores with big sales open. Once inside, shoppers often rush and grab as many stores have only a few of the big-draw items. Injuries and even fatalities have occurred during this hectic day.
Forget Thanksgiving turkey, fellowship, and football, for a lot of shoppers, Black Friday is the week's truly notable holiday. It's hard to say when the day after Thanksgiving turned into a retail behemoth but it probably dates back to the late 19th century.
At that time, store-sponsored Thanksgiving parades were common and, once Santa Claus showed up at the end of the parade, the holiday shopping season officially started.
In those days, most retailers adhered to an unwritten rule that holiday shopping season didn't start until after Thanksgiving so no stores would advertise holiday sales or aggressively court customers until the Friday immediately following the holiday.
Thus, when the floodgates opened that Friday, it became a huge deal.
Many retailers are already in on the bargain frenzy by offering deals online. Let's review the facts of the single biggest shopping day of the year. Even though stores are starting sales sooner, estimates from the National Retail Federation suggest that a whopping 138 million shoppers could hit the sales this Friday.
That's up from 134 million who busted down doors starting at dawn or even before last year. The circulars, the sales, the double-digit discounts, shoppers looking for a steal, it's a holiday tradition that retail experts say is motivated by one kind of green.
And not the kind of green you find on your Christmas tree.
The retailer is going to try to go after your dollar first, whoever gets there first gets the first dollar and, once it's spent, it's spent. That is also why stores might not be fretting that some of their hot prices on cool items are already being publicized online, on web sites like blackfridayinfo.com.
While I just enjoyed spending time with my cousins and watching football games, shoppers were out buying. So many options was enough to get some shoppers giddy with excitement. I always love to shop but I don't like the crowds. The crowds in the stores and the music makes you feel like it's Christmas time.
I seen many went out to purchase the 42 inch TV's for 198 which is a great savings, can some tell Santa Claus I been good all year and give me a new 60 inch television please, you know they change technology so fast, mine is out dated now.
It was clear the main purchase now are the iPads. Apple's iPad has proven to be disruptive, innovative and a market leader. The iPad's performance over Black Friday lends insight into another venue that Apple is expanding its reach.
The iPad generated more online shopping during a record Black Friday than any other mobile device. Online sales surged past $1B for the first time ever on Black Friday last week. According to comScore, online sales were up 26 percent to $1.042 Billion, making it the biggest online sales day in 2012.
This year's advance notice of Black Friday savings is enough to even get some Black Friday first-timers intrigued enough to venture out. Those who are veterans at Black Friday shopping know that the best deals are typically in limited quantities.
Sometimes the ads will say that but many times they won't.
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Write Wade at the Call & Post, 11800 Shaker Blvd., Cleveland, OH, 44120, or e-mail him at email@example.com.