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Black Friday

Posted by: Mark Putney | December 10, 2013 | No Comment |


It’s that Christmas shopping time again—windows are overfilled with bright toys and clothes, gaudy Santa impersonators, and heavily ornamented trees. And Thanksgiving is next week, but the excitement for all that tasty, homemade food pales in comparison to the thrill of Black Friday. Stores open early and flood with millions of people all throughout the United States, everyone grabbing and fighting over that cashmere sweater that’s 75% off, or that new Barbie going for five bucks a pop, or those Uggs selling like candy at $40 a pair. But ever think of where the hustle and bustle of all these fantastic sales came from?

Black Friday has dozens of definitions, including “no one in industrial work showing up the day after Thanksgiving,” and how it was the day when the Native Americans realized that they’d caught a myriad of European diseases, which many eventually died from [FinalCall.com]. The most likely definition is that it is a term used in the retail world for the time of year they turn over profits, switching from red ink to black, or losses to profits.. It used to  be when sales dropped to all-time lows each year, but in the 1960s marketing geniuses used this bleak time of year for retailers to sell products even better—by decreasing the prices on everything ridiculous amounts. Since then, Black Friday has been the number one day of the year for Christmas shopping, becoming a national obsession of greed in the hearts of both retailers and the average shopper, who has suddenly turned hostile at the thought of getting $20 off that new PS4.

About three to ten deaths occur annually, from well before the doors open. At some stores up to 2,000 people arrive early, pushing in the doors by force and stampeding through the isles, occasionally trampling a few unfortunate victims. There are even sites dedicated to counting the death toll or ranking the deaths for which is most brutal [Ranker.com], and that doesn’t even count the 555 car crashes that have cost lives on Black Friday, according to an estimate by the National Highway Safety Council.

Thankfully, the internet poses as a safer way to get those fabulous discounts with equal frustration and less risk of injury. With Black Friday closing in and deals being released, are you ready to gear up and fight for the highest bid on eBay, and are your fingers fast enough to grab those leather boots first on Amazon?  Christmas time is here, with prices to match.

under: Features

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