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Black Friday 2017: Hundreds of shoppers rush to grab early deals in New York
The news media have long described the day after Thanksgiving as the busiest shopping day of the year. In the period from through , for example, Black Friday ranked from fifth to tenth on the list of busiest shopping days, with the last Saturday before Christmas usually taking first place. As the first day after the last major holiday before Christmas, it marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Additionally, many employers give their employees the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The early s have seen retailers extend beyond normal hours in order to maintain an edge or to simply keep up with the competition. Such hours may include opening as early as Forever 21 went in the opposite direction, opening at normal hours on Friday, and running late sales until 2: However, this practice has largely disappeared in recent years, perhaps because of an effort by retailers to create a greater sense of urgency. The news media usually give heavy play to reports of Black Friday shopping and their implications for the commercial success of the Christmas shopping season, but the relationship between Black Friday sales and retail sales for the full holiday season is quite weak and may even be negative. Online shopping also made the day less important. After , many were traveling for the deals across the border. Starting in and , due to the parity of the Canadian dollar compared with the American dollar , several major Canadian retailers ran Black Friday deals of their own to discourage shoppers from leaving Canada. Black Fridays in the US seem to provide deeper or more extreme price cuts than Canadian retailers, even for the same international retailer. It is the day when emergency services activate contingency plans to cope with the increase in workload due to many people going out drinking on the last Friday before Christmas. Contingencies can include setting up mobile field hospitals near City Centre nightspots. Since the start of the 21st century, there have been attempts by retailers with origins in the United States such as Amazon to introduce a retail "Black Friday" as it would be understood by Americans, into the United Kingdom. Some online and in-shop companies have adopted the American-style Black Friday sale day, although others appear sceptical, with one comment piece in the trade publication Retail Week labelling it "simply an Americanism , which doesn't translate very well. Among them were ao. During Black Friday sales in , police forces were called to shops across Britain to deal with crowd control issues, assaults, threatening customers and traffic issues. On this weekend, major retailers extend their store hours  and offer special promotions, including extended credit terms and price promotions. The two reported the biggest Black Friday sales in Hundreds of retailers announced their participation in the campaign. India[ edit ] Black Friday is little known in India, as its shopping seasons are different. The busiest times for shopping in India and hence the times with the biggest discounts tend to be Diwali, followed by regional festivals like Ugadi and Pongal in South India, Ganeshotsav in Maharasthra, Baisakhi in Punjab and Onam in Kerala. Over the past decade, Independence day sales on 15th August have become a large attraction, though most sales in India last for a period of one week. The big e-commerce retailers in India are trying to emulate the concept of shopping festivals from the United States like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon have been offering discounted products on the major festivals in India. According to Google Trends, the interest for Black Friday is rising every year. Comparing the search volume of the term Black Friday in November and November , the increase is almost 50 percent 22, is the search volume in November and 33, is the search volume in November , according to the Google Adwords. Retailers favored the very American term "Black Friday" to "Vendredi noir" in their advertisements. During this sale time, stores keep their normal working hours; and though goods are offered at reduced prices, the prices are no more significantly slashed than normal weekly price reductions. Apple was the first company to run a special Black Friday campaign for the German market in Twitter users had to use the hashtag osublackfriday and it allowed them to follow along and tweet favourite deals and discounts from stores. Purchasing online gave customers free shipping and free iTunes gift cards with every purchase. In addition to this, numerous stores in the country run Black Friday promotions in-store and online throughout the country. Since the introduction, it has been promoted every year in a larger and growing market all over the country. During its first year, it was believed to have attracted an inflow of about 35, regional tourists according to the government's immigration census. Over its first hour run on November 28, , more than 1. There has been growing interest for black Friday in Poland as well. In Spain joined with some small retailers. The celebration became more famous year by year, till the big retailers grew. In the Netherlands Black Friday was seriously introduced in Some years before there were a couple of big and small retailers that used Black Friday in their marketing proposes. However, with the total of 35 participating stores, can be seen as the year in which Black Friday has started in the Netherlands due to more widespread support of large retailers. The participating shops have increased to over during the Black Friday period of After , Black Friday in Belgium has grown strongly. The participating shops have increased to over 70 during the Black Friday period of There was even a Black week and Black weekend sales in shopping centres. Black Friday has been increasingly adopted by stores in Brazil since  , although not without its share of inflated prices and other scams, especially in its earlier years, earning the nickname "Black Fraude"  Black Fraud or also "Black Furadei", which comes from the slang word "furada", meaning a "jam" or tough situation, usually involving money. It is also common to hear Brazilian people say that prices on Brazilian Black Friday are "half of the double". However, currently, the term "Black Friday" has become so popular in the country that stores have been under closer scrutiny from consumers and cases of known scams have been reduced greatly. Origin of the term[ edit ] For centuries, the adjective "black" has been applied to days upon which calamities occurred. Many events have been described as "Black Friday", although the most significant such event in American History was the Panic of , which occurred when financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk took advantage of their connections with the Grant Administration in an attempt to corner the gold market. When President Grant learned of this manipulation, he ordered the Treasury to release a large supply of gold, which halted the run and caused prices to drop by eighteen percent. Fortunes were made and lost in a single day, and the president's own brother-in-law, Abel Corbin , was ruined. The earliest known use of "Black Friday" to refer to the day after Thanksgiving occurs in the journal, Factory Management and Maintenance , for November , and again in Here it referred to the practice of workers calling in sick on the day after Thanksgiving, in order to have a four-day weekend. However, this use does not appear to have caught on. Around the same time, the terms "Black Friday" and "Black Saturday" came to be used by the police in Philadelphia and Rochester to describe the crowds and traffic congestion accompanying the start of the Christmas shopping season. In , the city and merchants of Philadelphia attempted to improve conditions, and a public relations expert recommended rebranding the days, "Big Friday" and "Big Saturday"; but these terms were quickly forgotten. Although it soon became more widespread, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in that retailers in Cincinnati and Los Angeles were still unaware of the term. Black Friday, under this theory, is the beginning of the period when retailers would no longer be "in the red", instead taking in the year's profits. This was debunked by Snopes. Violence and chaos[ edit ] Despite frequent attempts to control the crowds of shoppers, minor injuries are common among the crowds, usually as a result of being pushed or thrown to the ground in small stampedes. While most injuries remain minor, serious injuries and even deliberate violence have taken place on some Black Fridays. In , a crowd of approximately 2, shoppers in Valley Stream, New York , waited outside for the 5: As opening time approached, the crowd grew anxious and when the doors were opened the crowd pushed forward, breaking the door down, a year-old employee was trampled to death. The shoppers did not appear concerned with the victim's fate, expressing refusal to halt their stampede when other employees attempted to intervene and help the injured employee, complaining that they had been waiting in the cold and were not willing to wait any longer. Shoppers had begun assembling as early as 9: Even when police arrived and attempted to render aid to the injured man, shoppers continued to pour in, shoving and pushing the officers as they made their way into the store. Several other people incurred minor injuries, including a pregnant woman who had to be taken to the hospital. She had been asked to leave the store, but refused. He was discovered to also be carrying two knives and a pepper spray grenade. The incident started as people waited in line for the newly discounted Xbox A witness said a woman with two children in tow became upset with the way people were pushing in line. The witness said she pulled out pepper spray and sprayed the other people in line. The suspect and the dragged officer were treated for shoulder injuries. Three people were arrested. The video also caught a separate, possibly related, fight happening simultaneously. Friday morning on November 25, The shooter fired multiple shots, leaving an SUV covered in bullet holes, but the motives remain unclear. That incident technically occurred before Black Friday on the evening of Thanksgiving. Derrick Blackburn, 19, was later arrested for unlawful possession of a weapon. Parades celebrating Thanksgiving often include an appearance by Santa at the end of the parade, with the idea that 'Santa has arrived' or 'Santa is just around the corner' because Christmas is always the next major holiday following Thanksgiving. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many Santa or Thanksgiving Day parades were sponsored by department stores. Department stores would use the parades to launch a big advertising push. Eventually, it just became an unwritten rule that no store would try doing Christmas advertising before the parade was over. Therefore, the day after Thanksgiving became the day when the shopping season officially started. Thanksgiving Day's relationship to Christmas shopping led to controversy in the s. Retail stores would have liked to have a longer shopping season, but no store wanted to break with tradition and be the one to start advertising before Thanksgiving. For this reason, in , President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a presidential proclamation proclaiming Thanksgiving to be the fourth Thursday in November rather than the last Thursday, meaning in some years one week earlier, in order to lengthen the Christmas shopping season. Other companies followed with "Black Friday in July" deals which were as good as, or better than, those in November. Making unreasonable demands on staff, including requiring them to work under threat of termination,  often long shifts, during Thanksgiving. Health and safety risks due to insufficient staff for crowd management. Selling "derivative" products manufactured just for Black Friday with lower specifications. In , Kmart opened at 7: Two years later, a number of retailers began opening at 8: In subsequent years, other stores have followed this trend, opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day, or remaining open all day, beginning in the early morning hours.
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