Black Friday to Cyber Monday Matt 28 Nov 2005

18 comments Latest by nb

So who’s behind the branding of Black Friday? I can’t even recall hearing the phrase before this year but you couldn’t turn on the news or read a paper this past week without catching the term. From a naming perspective it strikes me as odd since Black Monday has such negative economic connotations. Oh, Friday was also Buy Nothing Day too.

Next up for the media machine: Cyber Monday — so dubbed because 77 percent of online retailers said sales increased substantially last year on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

18 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Silus Grok 28 Nov 05

If I recall correctly, the phrase “Black Friday” comes from the retail industry… as it’s the day that most retailer enter the black (financially speaking), if that’s in the cards.

The anti-consumerism movement, I believe, has only just recently latched onto it (I first heard it a couple years back).

Sean Jordan 28 Nov 05

Yeah… Black Friday is the first day retailers shoot for to be in the black… been coined for as long as I can remember.

The Monday after Thanksgiving is also the first day of white-tail deer hunting for all you New Englander’s.

Silus Grok 28 Nov 05

Mmm… venison.

* drools *

Ara Pehlivanian 28 Nov 05

Well, “Black Friday” was used to describe the day a bunch of people got laid off where I work.

Dana O 28 Nov 05

Although I can see the idea behind the name “Black Friday,” I too think it sounds pretty negative. It just sounds evil. I was telling some friends about the Black Friday “deals” I had heard of, and they laughed at the term — thinking it was because that shopping day is often crazy busy and annoying for people. :)

This “Cyber Monday” thing is just going too far. Now I’m sure that the media isn’t just reporting this stuff, but more so advertising. Until watching the news on Sunda night, I had never heard of this name before. It seems to me, that this year I’m hearing alot more about these all important shopping days. I think there has been a push to get people to believe that these days are synonmous with great deals. Maybe they are, but I don’t think so. Not many of the things I saw were all that great.

What is with companies trying to start new “habits,” traditions or holidays? It just isn’t cool. Another example: Sweetest Day. What is this holiday,…like 5 years old now?

Mark 28 Nov 05

I see the accounting side of it, but also agree the name has negative feelings associated with it. Although, if you were one of those trampled in anyone of the chaotic shopping scenes, “Black Friday” was probably the appropriate term to describe the event.

I caught a moment this morning on one of the national news morning shows regarding “Cyber Monday.” It was an ad for Froogle desguised as a legit news story.

Another Mark 28 Nov 05

Has anyone studied the impact “Cyber Monday” has on productivity in the workplace? If people are browsing & shopping online at work — they’re probably not working.

I find it hard to believe that most people would wait until their lunch hour to do all of their online shopping.

In the overall economic picture, does the amount they spend on cyber Monday offset the amount of production lost by online shopping at work?

Not to mention the role it has on personal finances (credit card debt, etc.)

mark 28 Nov 05

I’d bet that the browsing/shopping, and corresponding hit on productivity, is going on all day, every day. Black Friday just triggers that state of mind that it’s time to shop, and a majority of people aren’t doing so at home…they’re doing so on the T1 at work.

The twist to that is that all the online stores had their sales on Friday too (like the Apple Store savings I took advantage of, without leaving the house, and Best Buy’s online sales, which we missed, that actually went live on Thanksgiving Day), so everyone who’s riding the “Cyber Monday” shopping spree to a treeful of gifts showing up at their doorstep is getting screwed.

mark 28 Nov 05

*Black Friday just triggers that state of mind that itís time to BUY…

Don Wilson 28 Nov 05

We, in Dallas, have been calling it Black Friday for numerous years now.

Steven Andrew Miller 28 Nov 05

“Black Friday” is very old. Unlike other “Black *day” it does not refer to something bad happening, but rather when a lot of retailers go from being “in the red” to “in the black.”

“Cyber Monday” is new this year at least to me.

beth 28 Nov 05

I worked retail throughout high school and college, and we always referred to that day as Black Friday, so my guess would be retailers coined this term.

Dave 28 Nov 05

I never heard of the “in the black” connotation until just now. I always thought it was called Black Friday because it was a hellish day to be out in the stores trying to buy stuff.

P.S. A big thumbs-up on the return to comments!

niblettes 28 Nov 05

The term may not be new. However I have never heard of it till this year—and this year I heard it everywhere.

I was visiting LA and every news program on every station was repeating the same phrase, like a mantra sung in unison: “ommm….. black friday…. ommm…”

Here is what else passed for “news”:

- Kmart is open on Thanksgiving Day!
- There’s a shortage of XBOX 360s (wink wink)
- There are fights over XBOX 360s
- There was a hold up over an XBOX 360
- XBOX 360s are selling for over $2000 on ebay!
- Walmart has low prices for consumer electronics!
- oh yeah, there was an accident on i-15, so avoid it

And every station carried these exact same stories with no variation, read by indistinguishable plastic, past-their-prime spokesmodels, with the same gravitas they’d give a natural disaster. I couldn’t tell if I was watching CBS or QVC. I suppose it doesn’t matter any more.

I knew more and more media outlets have been accumulated in fewer and fewer hands, but this level of coordination is beyond what even my potent cynicism could imagine. Apparently in LA, all television news media read from the same official teleprompter.

Jeff Louella 28 Nov 05

In business, red is a negative color. Not that the color red is negative, but the meaning behind it. If you are “in the red”, you are losing money. The use of red ink was initially used to differentiate where a company was losing money from where they were profitable on paper. Accountants could quickly look down handwritten reports and find the negative numbers since they stood out. Black Friday was when business’s turned all their numbers from red to black. Black being a Positive number.

Darrel 28 Nov 05

In the overall economic picture, does the amount they spend on cyber Monday offset the amount of production lost by online shopping at work?

So do bathroom breaks, conversations around the watercooler, and the football pool. That’s life. ;o)

nb 28 Nov 05

From what I’ve been told, the term “Black Friday” was the first day that this country was finally “in the black,” ending the Great Depression.

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