5 BLACK FRIDAY MYTHS: FACT OR FICTION?

Although the American phenomenon spread to Europe several years ago, many Europeans still don't know exactly why we celebrate Black Friday or why it is even called Black Friday. 

Can you guess which myths are facts, and which are fiction? 

Find the answers and explanations at the end of the article!

Myth  1: Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year.

 

Many people consider the day after Thanksgiving to be the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season. In the United States, several employers give their employees the Friday after Thanksgiving off, as part of the Thanksgiving weekend.

 

As a result, there are more potential shoppers in the streets on Black Friday that can boost retail sales. This, coupled with the amount of Black Friday advertisement, long queues, and crazy shopping frenzies shown on the TV definitely makes it seem like Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year.

Myth 2: It is called Black Friday because it is the first profitable day of the year for retail businesses. 

Traditionally, most retail businesses operated at a loss for most of the year, making their profits solely during the holiday season. In a company’s financial records, common accounting practices would record losses in red ink and gains in black ink.

 

The day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the season when retailers would go from being “in the red” to “back in the black”. Hence, why we call it “Black Friday”.

Myth 3: Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers 

Plumbers receive up to 50% more calls on Black Friday, than they do on a normal Friday. Although many would be quick to blame the extra large and hearty Thanksgiving meal, the number one reason for calls is clogged kitchen sink drains. 

Myth 4: The Philadelphia Police named the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday”, because of the chaotic crowds and horrible traffic jams the city experienced every year.

 

In the 1950’s, the Police of Philadelphia used to call the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving Black Friday and Black Saturday, as hordes of people stormed the city because of the Army-Navy football game held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year.

 

The Philadelphia police were not allowed to take the day off, and would have to work extra long shifts in order to cope with the crowded chaos. In addition, shoplifters would take advantage of the chaotic situation, adding to the stress of the Philadelphia Police department. 

Myth 5: Black Friday was spread to Norway through a naked stunt 

 

In 2010, the shopping mall Norwegian Outlet introduced Norwegians to Black Friday through a naked stunt. To attract the most attention, the shopping mall hosted a fashion event with 8 “naked” models. Four women and four men wearing skin-coloured underwear walked a catwalk in order to promote Norwegian Outlet’s Black Friday sale.

ANSWERS:

Myth  1: Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year.

 

Answer: FICTION

 

Black Friday sure seems like the biggest shopping day of the year. However, statistics from the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) disproves this myth. Turns out, consumers actually spend more in the days leading up to Christmas, compared to Black Friday itself.

 

According to a 2016 ICSC Report, 61% of consumers expected similar deals to happen in December, and 29% believed the deals in December would be even better compared to Black Friday deals. In fact, the last Saturday before Christmas, known as Super Saturday, traditionally hold the title of the best day of the year for businesses in terms of sales.

Myth 2: It is called Black Friday because it is the first profitable day of the year for retail businesses. 

Answer: FICTION

 

Although this myth gives an entertaining explanation for the origin of the name “Black Friday”, it is incorrect. According to the History channel, this story was actually created in order to reinvent Black Friday, and hide the negative aspects of the real origin of the name. 

Myth 3: Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers

Answer: FACT 

 

Yes, Black Friday is in fact the busiest day of the year for american plumbers. As many people prepare and clean up after a big Thanksgiving meal, large scraps of leftover food and grease might end up in the kitchen sink drain, causing it to become clogged. 

Myth 4: The Philadelphia Police named the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday”, because of the chaotic crowds and horrible traffic jams the city experienced every year.

 

Answer: FACT 

 

It is true, the name “Black Friday” originates from the Philadelphia Police department, as they used the term to describe the horrible traffic jams and mayhem the city would experience on this day every year. It has a very negative connotation, as a black day of the week usually means something bad happened that day. For instance, October 24, 1929, which is the beginning of The Great Depression, is known as Black Thursday.

 

Retailers tried to rename “Black Friday” to “Big Friday”, although these efforts failed. This is why the “in the red” story was created in order to spin the name “Black Friday” into something positive. 

Myth 5: Black Friday was spread to Norway through a naked stunt 

 

Answer: FACT 

Black Friday was in fact spread to Norway through a naked stunt. Norwegian Outlet’s stunt got a lot of media attention, and although some people frown of the “americanisation” of Norway, Black Friday continues to grow in popularity each year. 

Psst.. Don’t forget to check out our Black Friday Weekend sale, starting at midnight! 

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