Black Friday’s Evolution

The long lines and intense sales are driving more to shop online.

photo via The Digi Blog

photo via The Digi Blog

Cassondra Flanery, Staff Writer

The annual post-Thanksgiving celebration of extreme deals can seem exciting to many who are looking for reduced prices, but in reality, Black Friday causes panic and mayhem.

Sarah Pruitt from the History Channel writes how the term originated in the 1950s, when police in Philadelphia would describe the Friday after Thanksgiving as chaotic due to the Army-Navy football game. The cops would have to work extra hard that day as tourists would flood the streets and traffic would be more abundant.

The term spread though, as retailers, “found a way to reinvent Black Friday and turn it into something that reflected positively, rather than negatively, on them and their customers.”

photo via

It eventually evolved into the somewhat quiet Black Friday we know today – with online shopping prevailing over in-store.

Everything from technology to children’s toys, to even food, is cheaper. Hordes of people fill long lines just waiting to get inside the store and grab whatever they can get. Some even skip Thanksgiving dinner in order to participate on Black Friday.

A morbid site, the “Black Friday Death Count” even keeps track of all who have died during the rush (so far, it’s 10 deaths and 105 injuries).

However, the dangers of Black Friday are declining as people are choosing to shop online instead. The general idea is that shopping online eliminates the stress and anxiety associated with shopping in-store.

photo via Venture Beat

Retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Best Buy have already put sales on their websites.

Even so, Black Friday isn’t the most popular shopping date of the year, according to Pennlive. That title belongs to the Saturday before Christmas, as last-minute shoppers flood both the store and their websites in order to buy presents before it’s too late.

This year, whether Black Friday will continue to decline in popularity will soon be discovered – as well as if nearer to the holidays, those sales will bring in more shopping activity.