A:

Black Friday is a popular label attached to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the US. This day marks the beginning of the busy shopping season during which most consumers typically start their Christmas/holiday shopping.

While the word "black" often has a negative connotation, the use of black in this case alludes to profitability, which is traditionally noted in black ink (losses are noted in red). Traditionally, brick-and-mortar retailers see a surge in retail sales on this day as a result of the holiday shopping, putting their books "in the black".

Doorcrashers, special deals and heavy discounts on the most highly sought after holiday gifts are often offered by retailers in order to lure consumers into their stores in the hope that they will purchase other, higher margin goods. Some bargain hunting consumers have even been known to camp out overnight in order to secure a place in line at a favorite store. The contents of Black Friday advertisements are often so highly anticipated that retailers go to great lengths to ensure that they are not leaked out to the public beforehand.

For online retailers, there is a similar type of day on the Monday following Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday is known as the unofficial start of the online holiday shopping season as internet-savvy shoppers go to their favorite online retailers to do their holiday shopping. Similarly, online retailers also start promotions and sales on Cyber Monday in order to compete against the Black Friday offerings at brick-and-mortar stores.

There is also another, more infamous historical event linked to a disastrous Black Friday on September 24, 1869. On this date, speculators hoarded as much gold as they could get their hands on, causing the price of gold to skyrocket. However, on Friday September 24, 1869, the government Treasury intervened and the price of gold fell from $160 per ounce to $130 per ounce. This caused a ripple effect throughout the financial markets that resulted in a fall of more than 20%.

RELATED FAQS
  1. To whom was the term "corporate kleptocracy" first applied?

    The term "corporate kleptocracy" is believed to have originated in a 2004 report by the Special Committee of the Board of ... Read Answer >>
  2. How do I implement a forex strategy when spotting a Three Black Crows Pattern?

    Learn a common forex trading strategy traders use to capitalize on the bearish market reversal signal given by the three ... Read Answer >>
  3. How do I build a profitable strategy when spotting a Falling Three Methods pattern?

    Explore the elements of trade strategy based on the falling three methods candlestick pattern, including how and when to ... Read Answer >>
  4. Are there significant seasonal patterns in the electronics sector?

    Examine the consumer electronics sector and learn what typical seasonal sales patterns can be identified for this important ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do I build a profitable strategy when spotting a Three Black Crows pattern?

    Learn to identify the three black crows candlestick pattern and learn how stock market traders use the pattern to profit ... Read Answer >>
  6. What are the most popular companies in the retail sector?

    Learn about some examples of popular companies in the retail sector. Understand what makes these retail companies popular ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Retailers Rebel Against Black Friday: Bad Move?

    The Black Friday creep may have hit a wall as some stores are shutting their doors on Thanksgiving and even Black Friday to give employees the day off.
  2. Personal Finance

    Is Cyber Monday The New Black Friday?

    Cyber Monday is becoming more popular than Black Friday. Here's why.
  3. Personal Finance

    3 Stores to Avoid This Coming Black Friday

    Learn what stores are best to avoid if you absolutely must participate in the madness known as Black Friday, and identify ways to obtain even better deals.
  4. Insights

    How Black Friday Really Got Its Name

    No, it has nothing to do with accounting. Here's the real story.
  5. Investing

    Amazon and Target Win Big With Online Deals (AMZN, TGT)

    This holiday season saw a surge in online and mobile sales. Among the biggest winners were Amazon and Target.
  6. Insights

    Businesses That Benefit The Most From Black Friday

    Some businesses make the majority of their money during Black Friday. What businesses see the most uptick in profits during this time of year?
  7. Insights

    The Big Business Of Black Markets

    Black markets are alive and kicking in all corners of the world, sometimes in plain view. And they are big business.
  8. Insights

    The Mechanics Of The Black Market

    Black markets will continue to exist as long as we have regulations and taxes. Discover how they work.
  9. Insights

    What Happened On Black Monday?

    On October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones dropped 508 points, or almost 22% in a single day. That was Black Monday.
  10. Financial Advisor

    4 Ways To Invest In Oil

    Many investors are looking for a way to invest in oil. Find out how you can buy into black gold.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, ...
  2. Black Thursday

    The name given to Thursday, Oct. 24, 1929, when the Dow Jones ...
  3. Cyber Monday

    An expression used in online retailing to describe the Monday ...
  4. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ...
  5. Black Box Model

    A computer program into which users enter information and the ...
  6. Black Wednesday

    The day when the British government was forced to withdraw the ...
Hot Definitions
  1. North American Free Trade Agreement - NAFTA

    A regulation implemented on Jan. 1, 1994, that decreased and eventually eliminated tariffs to encourage economic activity ...
  2. Trickle-Down Theory

    An economic idea which states that decreasing marginal and capital gains tax rates - especially for corporations, investors ...
  3. Derivative

    A security with a price that is dependent upon or derived from one or more underlying assets.
  4. Fiduciary

    A fiduciary is a person who acts on behalf of another person, or persons to manage assets.
  5. Sharpe Ratio

    The Sharpe Ratio is a measure for calculating risk-adjusted return, and this ratio has become the industry standard for such ...
  6. Death Taxes

    Taxes imposed by the federal and/or state government on someone's estate upon their death. These taxes are levied on the ...
Trading Center