7 Quick Facts about Black Friday

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1. In the US, the first time the term Black Friday was used was in 1869, when two investors tried manipulating the gold market and caused a stock market crash—on Friday.

2. On Black Friday 2014, US online revenues amounted to 1.5 billion US dollars, up from 1.2 billion US dollars in the previous year (source).

3. The term Black Friday was popularized at the national level in the 1990s and only became the biggest revenue day of the year in 2001. The biggest sales day of the year used to be Christmas Eve, due to procrastinating shoppers.

4. One man camped out 33 days early this year to secure a spot in line for Black Friday purchases, while also trying to raise awareness for homelessness.

5. Some Black Friday shoppers display aggressive behavior in order to secure consumer goods. Unfortunate events like the trampling of security officers, the stabbing of a Toys for Tots employee, and the use of pepper spray to immobilize competing customers have all marked this consumeristic holiday.

6. Department stores and retailers like Amazon are, in a sense, making Black Friday extinct, since they promote sales events leading up to and following the date on Cyber Monday.

7. Some retailers, such as REI, are taking counter-cultural measures and intentionally closing their stores the day after Thanksgiving in order to let their employees be with family.

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