REPORTER: Black Friday sounds kind of scary, and it was. Black Friday first referred to the collapse of the U.S. gold market in 1869. A century later, Philadelphia police used Black Friday to describe chaos and congestion. Downtown streets were clogged with hoards of shoppers headed to the big department stores.
Retailers hated the term but then tried to reinvent it. It was the day their profits went from red to black — so they said.
Black Friday really started catching on in the '80s and '90s pushed by the growth of big box stores. Today, it's all about bargains and Black Friday's dark roots are for the history books.
AZUZ: So, that's one of the events that follows the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday. Others include Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
Small Business Saturday is when mom and pop shops hope to see their sales increase. Cyber Monday is named for online shopping sales. The bottom line, this weekend is the traditional start of the U.S. holiday shopping season and discounts area all over the place.
What's a little controversial are sales on Thanksgiving itself. Some retailers are opened the afternoon of the holiday to encourage people to shop in-stores or online. Some are closed, encouraging their employees and customers to spend time with their families.
Though tens of millions of Americans typically do some shopping on Thanksgiving Day, data from the National Retail Federation suggests that number is decreasing each year, and retail itself is changing with sales attracting buyers well before Thanksgiving and an increasing number of Americans shopping online.