Black Friday Shopping: Q & A
The day after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday, kicks off the holiday shopping season. Each year, retailers open their doors early and offer shoppers deals of up to 70% off on everything from electronics to clothes. And shoppers typically turn out in droves.
Before you head out to the stores this year, there a few things you should know about Black Friday:
Q: How did the day get its name?
A: Accounts differ on the origin of the term. One theory is that it had roots in the 1960s in Philadelphia where it was used to describe the heavy pedestrian and car traffic on the day after Thanksgiving. The most common theory, though, is that the day got its name because it’s usually when retailers turn a profit for the year, or operate in the ‘black.’
Q. Is Black Friday the biggest shopping day of the year?
A. ShopperTrak, which monitors customer traffic and sales at 25,000 stores nationwide, says that Black Friday has been the top sales day every year but one since it started monitoring holiday data in 2002; the only exception was in 2004, when the busiest day was the Saturday before Christmas.
Q. What’s new?
A. Black Friday mania is seeping into Thanksgiving Day. Nearly 1,000 Gap stores will be open on Thanksgiving. Toys R Us will open at 9 p.m. And several other stores will open at midnight that evening, including Target, Best Buy, Kohl’s and Macy’s. Wal-Mart, whose supercenters already operate around the clock, also is opening most of its other stores by 10 p.m. Thanksgiving evening.
Q. Will you get the best deals of the season on Black Friday?
A. Not necessarily. Stores have discounts that are just as good throughout the holiday season. And there are even better deals to be had after Christmas Day. But the problem is if you wait too long, you might not get exactly what you want since stores have kept their inventories lean this year.