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How Black Friday got its start, and where it’s headed

How Black Friday got its start, and where it’s headed

As a retailer, you probably know that Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, but have you ever stopped to ponder how it all got started? Here’s a brief history of the holiday, and what may be in store for the future.

Know the history
According to, the term “Black Friday” was first coined in the 1960s. Back then, as today, many people had the day after Thanksgiving off from work, meaning they were available to do some early bird shopping. Additionally, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which started in 1924, drew droves of tourists (and thus shoppers) into the city, and retailers realized they could capitalize on the crowd.

The term “black” originally was used to refer to stores moving out of the “red” and into the “black.” These colors were chosen back when accountants kept records by hand, and used red ink to indicate losses while black ink signified profit.

Over the years, Black Friday grew in popularity, and now it’s an important shopping holiday for customers and merchants alike. Shop owners use online marketing, store signs, window displays and coupons to draw in customers, sometimes opening their doors in the wee hours of the morning.

Each year, it seems the sales and advertisements start earlier, which means retailers big and small have to step up their game to keep up with competition. The holiday has also spurred spin -offs like Cyber Monday, when online retailers try their hand at enticing customers with great deals.

What’s next for Black Friday?
While it’s impossible to say for certain how Black Friday will change in the coming years, it’s likely that the holiday is here to stay, and will only increase in popularity. Retailers who want to stay ahead of the curve should plan for Black Friday early in the year, and keep their eye on competitors’ discounts and promotions to make sure they aren’t falling behind.

You can prepare for a big Black Friday by buying mannequins for sale early in the season and stocking up on plenty of gift wrap, wholesale ribbon and other items you’ll need to help shoppers pick out their perfect gifts. If you run an online marketplace, you should also start getting customers excited about Cyber Monday. Use social media to count down the days until your big discounts are up for grabs.