The Light & Dark History of Black Friday Plus… Our 10 Favorites in Black

Love it or hate it, Black Friday has become a big day. In fact, it has grown over the years infamously into its own “holiday” on the calendar. Whether you jump right into the middle of the crowds or ignore it all together, Black Friday is here to stay.  Why?  Well…

According to (yes, there really is a website for the day!) the name “Black Friday” was born in the City of Brotherly Love. In the 60’s Philadelphia was always bustling with people the day after Thanksgiving because the annual Army-Navy football game was always played on Saturday. Philly police officers and other city service workers started to refer to the crowded city negatively, labeling the day “Black Friday”.  

paper bags near wall

Photo by on

The name grew outside of Philadelphia as retailers began to have “Black Friday” sales to kick off the holiday shopping season.  But, retailers not thrilled with the seemingly negative reference to their big day, rewrote history, applying an accounting angle to explain the name “Black” Friday. Supposedly this was the day retail stores moved from “red” (a loss) into the “black” (a profit). This theme stuck in the 80’s and became the new meaning of Black Friday. However, we’re not sure anyone really believes that retailers only reach profitability in the eleventh month of the year! 

There was a brief movement to rename the day “Big Friday” but it never caught on. Black Friday is here to stay.

So, is this infamous day in November “black”?  Well, it IS profitable, but incredibly, not financially the biggest shopping day of the year according to  

“It’s one of the busiest days in terms of traffic but not in sales,” said Pam Rucker, spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation. “But the mystique is still there.”  “People just want to get out and do something on that day,” said Jay McIntosh, director of U.S. Retail and Consumer Products for accounting giant Ernst & Young. “They do because of all of the incentives to shop, but many aren’t buying.”

Snopes factually shows that from 1993 through 2002 Black Friday never made it higher than 4th for the biggest shopping day of the year. In the early 2000’s there were years that revenues were a bit higher moving Black Friday up the ranks but the biggest shopping days are really the last few days before Christmas thanks to all those procrastinators (never you, right?!)

man wearing pink polo shirt with text overlay

Photo by Artem Bali on

Where the “black” does come in?   Well, according to, it would be in the number of injuries and yes, even deaths, that have occurred during peak “door buster” sales and other raucous actions during shopping hours either in parking lots or in the stores themselves. The web site has recorded 10 deaths and 111 injuries since 2006… and Cyber-Monday?  Zero, of course!

We recommend avoiding the dark side of Black Friday by spending a quiet day with family. And, of course, shopping online at!  You’ll definitely get the light side of “Black” Friday when you check out some of our favorite selections… in black, of course, and on sale!

So, whether, you plan to roll over and sleep in on this infamous shopping day or jump right into the thick of it, remember to pace yourself.   There will be plenty of shopping days… or sleep in days left! 

Are you sneaking out after the turkey cools to grab some deals or do you dislike everything about Black Friday?  Let us know in the comments section.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Black Friday whatever you do!