Cedric Jackson
By: cjackson
Read in 7 minutes

Why Is Black Friday Called Black Friday?

Why is Black Friday called Black Friday? This is a question that a surprising number of people ask. Black Friday is one of the most culturally widespread events in the United States. Each year, tens of millions of shoppers crowd their favorite stores and browse online retailers for the best deals. This makes successfully navigating Black Friday a must for modern businesses.

A Remote Origin

Black Friday’s name has an interesting but complicated history. The exact origin of the name “Black Friday” remains a mystery. However, many people put forward various hypotheses about the origin of the name, going back decades or even centuries. In previous centuries, “black Fridays” denoted a negative event. Often, serious natural disasters or other unfortunate events would be given this or a similar name. There are many “black Fridays” throughout history, but none of them are all that similar to the modern version.

Black Friday in the Context of Thanksgiving

The earliest uses of the name Black Friday for the day after Thanksgiving date back to the middle of the last century. Often, workers would call in sick to enjoy a four-day weekend for the holiday. Eventually, this surge in workers calling off work led to an increased amount of shopping. It is no wonder that retailers eventually saw this as a prime opportunity to take advantage of shoppers’ extra time and money at the start of the holiday season. This use of the phrase did not stick, however.

Popularity in the 80s

The phrase spread slowly over the next few decades. It eventually came to be the title of the busiest shopping day in Philadelphia. The name “Black Friday” began to gain real traction in the early 1980s. Retailers throughout the US began to use it to refer to the day after Thanksgiving. Since this was the biggest sales day of the year and the start of the holiday shopping season, many businesses saw “Black Friday” as necessary to their survival. In fact, one hypothesis states that Black Friday gets its name from the black ink showing positive sales numbers in company records. Businesses were no longer “in the red” because they made a profit.

Many rumors and hypotheses continue to circulate as to the exact origin of the name “Black Friday.” Most of these are false but continue to make their rounds on the internet. People seem endlessly fascinated by the history of Black Friday and the origin of its name. Regardless of how exactly Black Friday got its start, it has obviously become one of the most important days of the year for businesses of all kinds.

How to Have a Safe Black Friday Event at Your Business

Every small business owner wants their Black Friday events to run smoothly, be safe, and make their customers happy. The best part about satisfied customers is that they tend to come back for more throughout the year. These customers are also more likely to spread the word about your business.

There are several important factors to keep in mind when organizing a Black Friday event for your business. Here are just a few to help you form your plans and execute them smoothly.

Safety First

The most important aspect of a Black Friday event is safety. Every year, we see news reports of customers or employees who are injured in poorly managed events. Black Friday events are sure to be crowded, so planning for this is a must. You need to prioritize your customers’ and employees’ safety, as well as the security of your merchandise and property. It pays to have working security cameras in case there are any incidents involving customers or employees. Also, have in mind that a safe shopping experience will reduce the chances of getting sued by unsatisfied customers who suffer any type of accident while at your store.

Good Organization

Keeping your event well-organized is necessary to maintaining good order and avoiding accidents. Make sure that your store’s aisles are wide enough to accommodate your customers and are clear of obstacles. Use clear signals throughout your store so customers can find quickly the items they are looking for. You also need to make sure you have an organized inventory and enough supplies, like shopping carts or baskets, too. Running out of these can be a nightmare for everyone involved. The same is true for parking, so make sure you have enough space for the crowds you anticipate.

Extra Help

If things could get too hectic, hire some temporary employees. Many hands make light work, and adding some temporary help can lighten your load. It also keeps customers from waiting unnecessarily for products or services. We invite you to read this article on how to hire students for your small business.


We hope we helped you answer the question “why is Black Friday called Black Friday?”. Taking advantage of this big sale (as well as corresponding events, like Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday or Cyber Week) can be a major boost for any small business. Knowing the ways to get the most out of special events like Black Friday can make the difference between a profitable holiday season or a lost opportunity.

At Camino Financial, our motto is, “No business left behind.” We make it our goal to help small businesses prepare for every situation, including events like Black Friday.






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