Black Friday: concrete campouts for doorbusting deals

Shoppers determined to land a door-busting deal at Best Buy can be seen pitching tents in lines that forms days before the holiday, spending Thanksgiving on concrete rather than at a table.

camping-on-Black-Friday-lines is a thing

One family interviewed by the NYTimes has done it for years, bringing two tents, a decorated Christmas tree, and a flat-screen TV to make things more pleasant. They’ve even met life-time friends through the event.

retail and Thanksgiving go way back

Franklin Delano Roosevelt saw the economic opportunity for retail if the buying season between Thanksgiving and Christmas was extended–even just for a week. He spearheaded an initiative to move Thanksgiving from the last Thursday of the month to the second-to-last Thursday. It was not universally popular, though, and Congress reverted to the original date in 1941. Geek out on it here.

two theories on why’s it called Black Friday


After an entire year of operating “in the red” stores would earn a profit “in the black” on the day after Thanksgiving, because holiday shoppers blew so much money on the big sales.


In Philly, on the day after Thanksgiving, shoppers and tourists flooded the city right before the Saturday Army-Navy football game every year. The traffic and chaos and crowds came to be known as “Black Friday.” This eventually changed to a more widespread marketing strategy by mostly US companies, though it’s spreading globally as well.

2019 retail estimates for the holiday

The National Retail Federation released a survey that estimated 135.8 million Americans plan to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend (58.7 percent of those surveyed), though even more (183.8 million, or 79.6 percent) said they would or might take advantage of the online deals offered on Cyber Monday.

What’s better? Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Let’s take a look.

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