Think about that number for a moment. 5 months.
That’s how long it will take most consumers to pay off the charges they ring up during the “holiday season.”
This “holiday shopping season” typically begins the day after the Thanksgiving (the U.S. holiday), and it’s commonly referred to as Black Friday.
While the term is associated with retail businesses finally turning a profit (going from operating ‘in the red,’ or at a loss, to ‘in the black,’ or turning a profit), its roots are quite a bit different.
The term essentially refers to the incredible influx of consumers rushing to the stores and spending copious amounts of money on unnecessary items, but that wasn’t its origins.
This commonly accepted ‘excuse’ for why we use the term ‘Black Friday’ began in the 1980s, but its earliest use can be traced back to the late 1950s, possibly early 1960s when swarms of people would descend upon Philadelphia for the annual Army-Navy American football game that took place the day after Thanksgiving. The term was not a positive one and was generally used by frustrated retailers and police who had to deal with the tremendous traffic, shoplifting, and chaos that ensued from these “shoppers” taking advantage of being in the city that day after Thanksgiving.
The term has now once again become derogatory.
Retailers and corporations have been quite successful at making Black Friday into a term directly associated with prosperity and good things, but more and more (not just in America, but around the world) it has shifted back to a negative connotation.
Take a quick gander over to YouTube and look at some of the many videos people have put together about the behavior of far too many “shoppers” on Black Friday. They shove each other, trample people, and even get into fist fights.
Some retailers have attempted to dilute the frenzy, opening their stores on Thanksgiving day and keeping them open all night and throughout Black Friday, and they’ve also learned to spread out their sales so as to avoid the “crush” of people pouring in at the ‘opening bell.’
During the past couple of decades numerous people have lost their lives and hundreds, possibly thousands, have been sent to the hospital and jail because of a desperate desire to get the best deals on selected items.
For example, corporate retailers developed a great idea of putting $1,000 TV for sale at the rock-bottom price of $100, strategically placing them at the back of the store, leading to a stampede of people trampling one another to try and be the one, two, or five lucky consumers to grab that special deal.