Why Are Sale Days Called Black Friday

Recently there were several retail chains trying to give themselves a “Christmas in July” by offering huge sales. The media, no doubt at the prompting of those chains, has been calling it a “second Black Friday“. Obviously they’re trying to make a connection with the Friday after Thanksgiving when stores traditionally offer deep discounts and usually have some of their biggest profits.

This habit of retailers goes the usual use of a “black” day which is normally not something to celebrate. The term Black Friday was originally used in reference to to Sept 24, 1869, when the stock market crashed because a gold speculation plan fell apart.

Black Monday, 10/19/1987 is considered by many as “the most notorious day in financial history because of another stock market crash. The point being, generally speaking, black days aren’t usually good.

Of course, the real explanation goes back to the accountants. Traditionally red ink was used to show losses and black ink showing profits. “Black Friday” is then a day when retail accounting departments will be using a lot of black ink because of the huge profits they’re getting. Retailers trying to create a second such day in the year isn’t so much about the savings that customers can find (though that is a big influence) as it is about the boost in profits the retailers can expect.

[tags]misc, observations, random, semi random stuff[/tags]