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  Every Fourth Thursday of November in the United States is a big day. This Big Day is celebrated lavishly by Americans and is called Thanksgiving Day, but retail and department store owners while celebrating this big day look forward to the shopping season that follows Thanksgiving Thursday which begins with Black Friday. So what exactly is Black Friday? Black Friday originated in the U.S and is now celebrated throughout the World all over as the heralding of the Christmas holiday shopping season, with stores both actual and virtual falling over themselves to woo customers with mouthwatering giveaway prices and discount offers that are sometimes too good to be true. In Nigeria Words like ‘Awoof’. ‘yakata’ , ‘yudala’ have become popular colloquial terms used to denote Black Friday Discount deals in Nigeria in a way as to imply that their offers are the best thing next to free. Some of the biggest stores in Nigeria and Hybrid Products and services providers like Branditprintit and PrintandBrand who make sales via SEO-generated traffic have also been involved in this shopping Jamboree. But how did Black Friday come to become a shopping festival? Black Friday’s Story cannot be completely told without beginning with thanksgiving Thursday. Thanksgiving Thursday wasn’t always the 4th Thursday of every November, in fact, it used to be the last Thursday of every November, but a certain controversy emerged that led to a presidential proclamation by a sitting U.S President, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaiming Thanksgiving to be the fourth Thursday in November rather than the last Thursday. The controversy was that two of the top American department stores headquartered in New York City, which sponsored Thanksgiving Day used the platform that was provided to them by the holiday to launch big advertising pushes. Eventually, it became an unwritten rule that no store would try doing Christmas advertising before the Thanksgiving Day parade was over. Therefore, the day after Thanksgiving became the day when the shopping season officially started. Retail stores would have liked to have a longer shopping season, however, no store wanted to break with the tradition and be the one to start advertising before Thanksgiving. For this reason, was the presidential proclamation made with the implication being that the new date would retain an extra one week in some years and thus accommodate the longings of the retail store owners who wanted the shopping season to be extended. How the Day was termed ‘Black’.  Two popular accounts exist about how Black Friday got to be termed ‘black’. The first is that it is derivative of the idiomatic expression ‘in the black’. If a bank account is in the red, it had little money or was in debt, and if a person or business was in the red, it had no money in the bank and was in debt, but if a bank account was in the black, it had money. Now, retailers believed that even if they’d had a rough year and their account was in the red, the shopping season that began with black Friday was coming to bail them out and put their accounts in the black, ever since then, that Friday began to be referred to as Black Friday. Another account reports that in the state of Philadelphia, the shopping season which began on a Friday after thanksgiving was the most hectic day for police officers, thus they tilted to the negative edge and called it black Friday. On a final note, whichever way you see it Black Friday remains a win-win for both business owners and shoppers alike as the shopping D-day is an opportunity for small business owners to grow their businesses and it is an opportunity for customers to make the most of the festive shopping season by buying at a good discount rate.
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This article was first published on 23rd October 2022 and updated on October 24th, 2022 at 8:00 pm

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