Common myth: The term Black Friday, stems from retailers using the day's huge receipts as their opportunity to "get in the black" and become profitable for the year.
Reality: the name "Black Friday" dates back to Philadelphia in the mid-1960s, and the day following Thanksgiving and the traditional Army-Navy football game that's played in Philadelphia on the following Saturday. The crowds in the city were great for retailers, but a huge pain for police, cab drivers and anyone who had to drive in the city.
The Philadelphia Police Department started referring to the annual day of commercial bedlam as "Black Friday" to reflect how irritating it was.
SO WHERE DID THE WHOLE "GET IN THE BLACK" STORY ORIGINATE?
Storeowners didn't love having their biggest shopping day saddled with such a negative moniker, so in the early 1980s someone began floating the accounting angle to put a more positive spin on the big day.
By The Numbers:
89 million shoppers braved the crowds on Black Friday 2012, up from 86 million in 2011
247 million shoppers over the weekend 2012, up from 226 million in 2011
10% of shoppers on Black Friday 2012 were out at stores by 8 p.m. on Thursday and an estimated 28% of weekend shoppers were at the stores by midnight, compared to 24.4% in 2011
Total Consumer Spending on Black Friday (2010): $45 Billion
Total Consumer Spending on Black Friday (2011): $52.4 Billion
Total Consumer Spending on Black Friday (2012): $59 Billion
13%: Increase in total weekend sales over last year, down from 16% growth seen in 2011.
Average Consumer Spending:
Average consumer spending on Black Friday (2012)
$423 per person
Average consumer spending on Black Friday (2011)
$398.62 per person
Average consumer spending on Black Friday (2010)
$365.34 per person
How Do Companies Make Money Despite the Massive Deals They Offer?
Imagine a TV that is sold for $1000. Stores by that TV from the manufacturer for $500 and sell it for $1000.
Now, at the beginning of that product's run, the store will sell an average of 10 of these TVs a day, for $10,000, and $5000 profit. But in today's market, the lifespan on of a single piece of technology is remarkably low, and sales start to slow as new products are released.
On black Friday, they mark the TV down to $750 and sell 50 of them in a single day. Totaling at $37,500, making $12,500 in profit.
In the eyes of the store, they are getting rid of a product whose sales were diminishing, offering great deals to the public, and making a tidy profit while they do it.
Black Friday Online:
The average person spent $172.42 online over the Black Friday weekend in 2012
41% of a consumer's total spending for the weekend was online, up from 37.8 percent last year.
27% of holiday shoppers said they shopped online on Thanksgiving, and 47.5% on Black Friday
Cyber Monday (Nov. 26):
Cyber Monday, much like Black Friday, is a marketing term used to describe the Monday directly following Black Friday, generally when the greatest online deals are available. The term made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled "âCyber Monday Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year".
Set Your Calendar:
Black Friday 2013 is on Friday, November 29, 2013
Black Friday 2014 is on Friday, November 28, 2014
Black Friday 2015 is on Friday, November 27, 2015
Black Friday 2016 is on Friday, November 25, 2016
Black Friday 2017 is on Friday, November 24, 2017
Black Friday 2018 is on Friday, November 23, 2018
Black Friday 2019 is on Friday, November 29, 2019
Black Friday 2020 is on Friday, November 27, 2020
Black Friday 2021 is on Friday, November 26, 2021
Black Friday 2022 is on Friday, November 25, 2022
Black Friday 2023 is on Friday, November 24, 2023
Get up early and shop (a forecast of what's hot in 2013)
Expect great deals on Android phones. Even some of the newest models will be free with contract and in some cases, stores will even throw in a gift card; you make a profit on the phone. Look for these deals at Amazon Wireless, BestBuy, Walmart, and other big chains.
Clothes and Shoes:
Look for big discounts online over the next few weeks, with specific items marked down, and then site-wide discounts that stack up an additional 30-50% off. Look for these deals directly from merchant retailers like Abercrombie, J.Crew, and Banana Republic.
True Black Friday Deals
Even though plenty of merchandise will be on sale early, waiting until Black Friday will still yield a lot of good door-buster deals:
The biggest discounts will be on 55-inch LCDs and 3D LCDs. Deal News predicts they will be priced around $425. That's half what these TVs cost last year on Black Friday.
The last few years have seen an increase in discounts on the big-ticket items like washers and refrigerators at Best Buy, Lowes and Sears. This trend will continue with 10-30% off normal prices. On the other side of the price spectrum, lots of retailers will roll out $10 small appliances. Macy's has already advertised a $10 coffee maker, and Target almost always has a suite of $10 toasters, waffle makers, and crockpots.
Whether it's an iPad or a new laptop, Apple has its one sale of the year on Black Friday. Apple.com and the Apple retail stores traditionally offer 10-15%off many popular items (though rarely the newest iPhone). But the best deals usually come in the form of gift card add-ons with Apple purchases from larger electronics resellers.
And about the iTunes gift cards: Costco, Sam's Club and Toys R Us almost always sell them at a 10%-20% discount on Black Friday.