The busiest shopping day of the year is Black Friday and the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.. Where did this tradition start from, how does it extend to Monday and where does small business Saturday fit in?
How did Black Friday Become a Big Shopping Day?
It probably dates back to the late 19th century when store sponsored Thanksgiving parades were common. The last person seen walking in the parade was Santa Claus signalling the holiday shopping season had begun. There was an unwritten rule to wait until after Thanksgiving, holding advertisements, sales and customers at bay until early the day after and boy did it open floodgates.
Retailers counted on this day to get their holiday sales and in some cases make up for loses. Often Thanksgiving didn’t come until late in the month November 30th, cutting the shopping season down, so the Retail Dry Goods Association appealed to Franklin Roosevelt and FDR came up with a great solution. He moved Thanksgiving up a week to always be the next to last Thursday in November, instantly tacking an extra week onto the shopping season.
It didn’t work out immediately because people resisted the change in date & still celebrated Thanksgiving at the end of the month. It wasn’t until 1941 when Congress passed a law changing the date of Thanksgiving and designation the Friday as Black Friday. Many proclamations sprung up across the nation.
Why Call it Black Friday?
Most people think the name stems from retailers going from the red or pink to black due to huge receipts. Not necessarily. What also happens on that weekend is football; big games like Army and Navy played in Philadelphia. Police officers, cab drivers, and anyone who had to negotiate the streets didn’t think kindly of black fFriday Commercial bedlam was irritating.
How did it get turned around?
You heard the phrase or advertisement to “get in the black”. This was retailers way of putting a more positive spin on the big day and it happened around 1980. Over the years Black Friday is probably one of the top days for stores and the busiest day of the year in terms of customer traffic.
So where Did Small Business Saturday come from?
Black Friday is for big box stores and large retailers and with the growth of Internet, Cyber Monday was created for e-commerce sales. Well who did this ignore? You guessed right- the small local brick and mortar businesses. So in 2010 American Express conceived of and promoted via national radio and television advertising, a campaign to the public. Using Facebook, small merchant account holders and new customers were offered an incentive to promote the event. Social media caused an explosion of tweets, posts, publicity and participators to the shop small campaign. Using hashtags like #smallbusinesssaturday and #smallbizsaturday, #shopsmall and the round blue logo, it is easy to see who is participating and supporting local communities.
And what about on-line retailers?
Originally intended for brick and mortar, American Express opened its campaign to e-commerce small business. As a small ecommerce business EarthandMoonDesign was accepted to participate and we are so proud and excited to be part of this event. For the past few weeks we have been tweeting, posting, pinning to bring awareness to our readers and customers. And now it is time for the big reveal!
Never before have we offered 30% off our timeless, elegant handmade jewelry. And it starts on Black Friday 2014 and goes until Cyber Monday, joining retailers across the nation for a huge four day weekend opportunity of shopping in the way that suits you best.