Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States.
The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a country in the Americas.
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Since 1932, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S., and most major retailers open very early and offer promotional sales.
Black Friday Sales on Thanksgiving Causes Employee Backlash by ABC News
Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe "The Day After Thanksgiving" as a holiday for state government employees, sometimes in lieu of another federal holiday such as Columbus Day.
Columbus Day is a national holiday in many countries in the Americas and elsewhere which officially celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492.
California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area.
Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the following Friday off, which, along with the following regular weekend, makes it a four-day weekend, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers.
It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005, although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate, have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time.
Similar stories resurface year upon year at this time, portraying hysteria and shortage of stock, creating a state of positive feedback.
Positive feedback is a process that occurs in a feedback loop in which the effects of a small disturbance on a system include an increase in the magnitude of the perturbation.
In 2014, spending volume on Black Friday fell for the first time since the 2008 recession.
$50.9 billion was spent during the 4-day Black Friday weekend, down 11% from the previous year.
However, the U.S. economy was not in a recession.
Christmas creep has been cited as a factor in the diminishing importance of Black Friday, as many retailers now spread out their promotions over the entire months of November and December rather than concentrate them on a single shopping day or weekend.
Christmas creep is a merchandising phenomenon in which merchants and retailers exploit the commercialized status of Christmas by introducing Christmas-themed merchandise or decorations before the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, which in the United States is on the day after Thanksgiving.
The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving in a shopping context suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the fifth-most populous in the United States, with an estimated population in 2014 of 1,560,297.
This usage dates to at least 1961.
More than twenty years later, as the phrase became more widespread, a popular explanation became that this day represented the point in the year when retailers begin to turn a profit, thus going from being "in the red" to being "in the black".
For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00 a.m., but in the late 2000s many had crept to 5:00 or 4:00.
This was taken to a new extreme in 2011, when several retailers opened at midnight for the first time.
In 2012, Walmart and several other retailers announced that they would open most of their stores at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, prompting calls for a walkout among some workers.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., doing business as Walmart, is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores and grocery stores.
In labor disputes, a walkout is a labor strike, the act of employees collectively leaving the workplace as an act of protest.
In 2014, stores such as JCPenney, Best Buy, and Radio Shack opened at 5:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day while stores such as Target, Walmart, Belk, and Sears opened at 6:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day.
Sears is an American chain of department stores founded by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck in 1886; it used to be based in the Sears Tower in Chicago, and is now headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
RadioShack is an American chain of wireless and electronics stores founded in 1921 and currently owned by the Standard General affiliate General Wireless.
Belk, Inc. is a department store chain founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, North Carolina with 300 locations in 16 states.
Three states, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts, prohibit large supermarkets, big box stores, and department stores from opening on Thanksgiving, due to blue laws.
Maine is the northernmost state in the New England region of the northeastern United States.
There have been reports of violence occurring between shoppers on Black Friday.
Since 2006, there have been 7 reported deaths and 98 injuries throughout the United States.