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Black Friday: What Is It, And Why Does Everyone Love It?

Black Friday is the most important shopping day of the year in the United States. Not to be confused with the Boxing Day holidays of other country, Black Friday takes place each year the day after Thanksgiving. Since Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday, Friday is naturally the annual day of the week for this shopping holiday. This is one half of the reason behind the name--the other half is because the huge number of sales will traditionally take retailers out of the red and put them in the black. These old terms go back to the days when bookkeepers for shops would use red or black ink to mark the financial gains and losses of that particular shop. In other words, while a shopping day named Red Friday may seem merrier, it would be quite bad for retailers!

Black Friday is considered a special shopping day for two reasons. The first being the widespread, deeply-discounted sales found at virtually every brick and mortar store (but not online--more on that later). The second reason is because the day traditionally kicks off the Christmas shopping and holiday season--never mind the fact that the turkey leftovers are still sitting in the fridge. On this day, retailers often offer the deepest discounts of the year, often times even deeper than those found in the after-Christmas sales. In example, many big box electronics companies will mark down large flat-screen televisions by up to 50%. These markdowns only apply to older model televisions, but customers usually disregard that fact. Just by getting these customers in the door, they inevitably purchase more items since they are already saving so much on a flat-screen television. This means profit for the store, despite the deep discount on the television. This is an example of how Black Friday can work well for both retailers and customers.

Black Friday sales typically only apply to brick and mortar stores. This means you are not likely to find the same discounts online. However, the Monday following Black Friday is known as Cyber Monday, and that is when you can find deep discounts online if you didn't get to the stores on Friday. Created in response to the preference of people to shop online versus at brick and mortar stores, Cyber Monday sales are not always as good as those found on Black Friday, but the time and stress saved is usually worth it to customers.

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