In a year struck with economic hardship, retailers across the country are hoping for more than 130 million shoppers to come out and thin their wallets. This year, retail relies on Black Friday more than in previous years in order to post solid overall revenue numbers for 2009.

The Origins of Black Friday

Black Friday HandbagsThe term Black Friday officially dates back to 1966, though it had been used prior. It originated in Philadelphia and referred to the heavy shopping traffic on the day following Thanksgiving. It was not until 2000 that the term Black Friday really took hold, becoming part of our autumn vocabulary and gaining much media exposure.

The day always falls on the Friday following Thanksgiving, which ranges between the 22nd and the 29th of November every year. While the Friday after Thanksgiving is not an official holiday, it is a day that many US employees take off of work. With less employees in the workplace and the holidays around the corner, Black Friday is a haven for potential shoppers and a great opportunity for retailers to spike their sales numbers.


Realizing this increase, retailers began offering incentives, which are usually not outrageous, but are enough to spark a large hype. At times one may get lucky to score among limited quantities of high-price ticket items with their price tags being slashed by good margins.

Tips for shopping on Black Friday

With the rise of popularity, shopping on Black Friday has not only become hectic but also dangerous. Last year a Walmart employee was trampled to death when a large number of shoppers stormed the store at the opening. You should have a solid strategy for shopping on Black Friday planned out in order to make the most of it.

DO: Have a plan. Know what you are looking for, research deals, and know where the item is being held in the store. Also make sure to plan ahead. The lines are unbearably long at many locations, you may need to camp out to get that great deal. Check deal sites online, like Deals & Steals on Purse Forum, prior to see if you can buy the same items online or at other stores. If you are shopping with friends and family, break up to cover more ground quicker.

DON’T: Wait until last minute. Many deals will be leaked online prior to Black Friday. Do not get into an unsafe situation, it is not worth it. Safety always comes first.

Black Friday is upon us again. Do you plan to shop the sales or do you steer clear?

  • Leah

    Steer clear! I’ve done Black Fridays in the past and in my experience, I haven’t saved that much… my time is more valuable than the $20 I might save on a few items here or there.

  • Jenny

    There’s a good article at TechCrunch yesterday comparing the prices, and what NOT to buy:

    http://gizmodo.com/5411057/black-friday-anti+deals-what-not-to-buy

    Having said that, a nice site with all the Black Friday email round ups:

    http://www.sale.com/emails/dept/Black-Friday-promo-code/1101

    ~~ Jenny

  • Barb

    I would rather die than fight my way through the crowds! Nothing and I mean NOTHING! is worth the risk and hassle. I would much rather be sitting in my pjs in front of my laptop. But even before on line shopping-NO Way! I would rather pay a bit more and I love a bargain as much as anyone. That’s what years of working in retail will do for you. Totally turn you off the crowds! You learn when to shop,when it’s less crowded and busy! I knew all the short cuts into the mall!

  • Jenn

    I discovered the beauty of pre-sales at Nordstrom this year. You go in the week before Thanksgiving and pick out what you want (they can tell you whether an item going on sale) and then they’ll put stuff on hold so you don’t have to fight the crowds on Black Friday, plus you don’t get charged until you go to pick things up. Perhaps this a perk for Nordstrom fashion rewards cardholders? I sure appreciated it anyway. Anything to avoid the malls today!!!

    • MiMi

      I am an employee in the handbags department, and I agree. Many of our customers love this service, among many others, because we design it to benefit them. And everyone can do it, guys, not just fashion rewards cardholders-well u have to have at least a card to process it on. But the deals are so great, employees take to it as well! And Jenn have u heard about the level 2 and higher reward members receiving 10 pts. per dollar this Sunday, which we will start pre-saling for on December 3rd? You basically get back 10% of what you spend in NORDSTROM NOTES! Take advantage of this great deal if you can. Sorry everyone it is hard for me to get out of work mode! lol.

  • mette

    Black Friday I have not experienced. We have `The crazy days´in many department stores instead. Some of the regular articles are reduced and then there is stuff hauled from somewhere I don´t know. During these days, and when the annual sales begin, I won´t enter stores at all. Too much crowd, and people behave madly. I´ll do my shopping after the chaos, since new stuff appears immediately after the sales. I actually don´t know when the perfect time to shop is; if I buy too early, I forget what I have bought and regret. If I buy mid-season, I might miss my size. And I have already written what I think about sales.

  • hiptownrose

    Online shopping is the best. I don’t like crowds, and it just isn’t worth my time to go out and wait. I did buy something in a regular store today, I didn’t get the best price, but I fifn’t want to wait until the item sold out.

  • Chiara

    I’m not from the United States, so I don’t have any experience with Black Friday. I did hear someone died last year and that is just so awful, all that for a nice deal… That’s just too crazy!
    But I did go to London a few weeks ago, and I made the mistake of stepping into Primark. It was complete madness!! Don’t like it at all!