Black Friday returns after pandemic

BUCKHANNON — Black Friday is a huge part of many Americans holiday traditions, taking place every year on the day after Thanksgiving.

Families get together sometimes as early as midnight to try to get door-buster sales, but most stores open around 6:00 a.m. Friday morning. The purpose is to provide sales and deals for Christmas shopping that shoppers just cannot resist. Today, “Black Friday” in the modern age means discounts galore, however that is not how the holiday originally came to be.

The first mentions of Black Friday were said to have occurred around the 1950s or 1960s in Philadelphia. Traffic police who absolutely dreaded the day coined the term “Black Friday” to describe the horrific traffic jams and overpowering crowds in retail stores.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, little to no crowds could be found out and about and thus, stores expect more people than usual. However, with manufacturer and distribution shortages in the U.S. and the influx of people planning to go shopping, stores expect to sell out of large, discounted items fairly quickly.

An alternative for those who can’t make it out to in-store shopping is Cyber Monday. Online shopping is the easiest and quickest way to shop nowadays and can be done directly from the comfort of your own home.

“People are definitely going to be interested in Black Friday and excited about it, but the bulk of the activity is going to be online,” says Donna Hoffman, Professor of Marketing at the George Washington School of Business in Washington, D.C. “That’s my prediction.”

Because of coronavirus restrictions and product shortages, the event will extend longer than usual having pre-Black Friday promotions, as well as Cyber Monday online extensions.

Staying safe is the number one priority. Establishments and law enforcement make sure to take special precautions to ensure the safety of the public. Many places will experience over-crowding during the Black Friday event nationwide. Shop smart and stay safe!


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