523 The Question Is.... Black Friday


Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

Here's a list of articles about Friday, Nov 28, 2013, better known as Black Friday. They were taken from just one newspaper.

• Crowded holiday shopping lot in Virginia turns violent

• Battle for holiday shoppers heats up.

• Consumer behavior aggressively tracked this season.

• Holiday shopping begins on Thanksgiving Day.

• Black Friday protesters arrested outside Wal-Mart.

• Stores battle Amazon.com for holiday shoppers

• Washington Post: 7 apps for Black Friday

• NY Times: Parking apps secret weapon in mall battles

• Social responsibility and holiday shopping

• Shoplifter shot dragging Chicago-area police officer

• WalMart gives out wristbands to prevent injuries in shopping rush

• Shrunken head? Ripley's NY to shoppers: Believe it

The Question Is....

I wonder why they call it "black?"


Bernice Winandy 3 years, 1 month ago

They call it black because sales on that day often determines whether a merchant (talking about profits) is in the black for the year.

I think the whole black Friday is an example of uncontrolled commercialism. Stampeding a store just to get a bargain??? Knocking people over to get a bargain???Crazy!!!!!

I can remember once when I was very young. We were at my oldest sister's house for Thanksgiving. We were all in the living room watching a college football game. My brother in law remarked that he thought it was just terrible that college kids were required to play a game and be away from their family on Thanksgiving. You can imagine what he would think if he saw today's craziness. He was from a different time. Perhaps it was also a better time.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

Bernice, I agree with you! I knew about the reason for "black." I was just giving the term a jab in the ribs so to speak. Putting it in with the other "black" days. Know what I mean?

Well, maybe not, come to think of it. Maybe you have to be as old as I am to think of a black day as not exactly being something to celebrate.

Two "black" days we talked about when I was a kid were Black Sunday and Black Tuesday.

My Mom talked about Black Sunday all the time; it was a day back in the year she was married, which was 1918. She referred to 1917 as "the year without a summer," and told me about icicles hanging from the ceiling of a restaurant the winter of 1917-18. She lived on Staten Island, a half mile from New Jersey where a German submarine sank 6 American ships, damaged 2 others, and dropped a mine that sank another one in just one day. And everyone knew about Black Tuesday; it was the day of the Crash, the day of the worst stock market crash we have ever had; it started the Depression. In New York, it also started a rain of businessmen off 14th story window ledges.

That's why they called it Black Monday when stock markets all over the world crashed in 1987. Remember that? My son was working for a company that didn't have a retirement plan so he had an investment plan. In one day it lost 75% of its value.

And how about the day back in the 90's when the Brits declared a Black Wednesday? I remember it on the evening news, something to do with having to pull the pound sterling, which had always been one of the world's most stable currencies, off the market?

That covers everything except Thursday and Saturday. Just for the halibut I looked them up. Guess what? The Aussies have both of them. They're days when bush-fires were doing their best to turn Victoria, Australia into a memory, a Black Thursday back in 1851, and a Black Saturday in 2009.

I think the death, destruction, and other madness of Black Friday tie it lot closer to the other six Black days than to making a profit, which I think is a myth created by big business.

What crap! One day in the year on which if you do not make a profit you have a loss for the year.

How thick do they think they can slice the baloney before we get wise?

And now people are starting the madness on Thanksgiving Day?

I'm going to add a little to the thanks I give each year. "...and thank you for not letting me be as greedy and stupid as some people I can think of. Amen!"


Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

A lot of the things that are such a big deal on Black Friday are of a lesser quality than regular stock. Like TVs for one.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

I've read that, Pat — in more than one news article.

What really gets me, though, are news comments like this one from the New York Post:

"Mayhem erupted at big-box stores across the USA as frenzied shoppers vying for holiday deals turned on each other and resorted to violence to get their goods."

"Reports of retail assaults, shootings and arrests piled up so fast that by Thursday night, Black Friday already had a trending Twitter hashtag: #WalmartFights."

What kind of nation are we becoming?


Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

Here's something to consider: If that one day's business were really so important, then the retailers could not possibly afford to drop prices so low since that would automatically cause them to lose money that day. Therefore, five things are unarguably true, and a sixth one may be true.

  1. Everything other than the loss leaders must be at regular price.
  2. There aren't enough of them so that you can get one without standing in line for hours on a cold November morning, running like a mad fool, physically fighting your way to some pile of junk, and having to push and shove when you get there to save less money than you probably could have earned by working a couple of extra hours that week.
  3. The "sale" tags on almost everything else are sheer hype.
  4. Getting people who have a brain in their head through your doors is no guarantee that they will buy when they see that most things are no particular bargain.
  5. Since most of what you are going to buy can be bought on a regular day without all the hassle you are far better off to stay home.

  6. The BIG buys may not actually be the bargains they are claimed to be.

So the best question is who gets the blame?

a. The companies preying on dummies? b. The dummies?


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