Friday, November 26, 2010

today is black friday

when the colour black is used to describe something, it's usually not good.

like black widow, the female spider that eats up its male partner after mating.

or, black death, the bubonic plague epidemic that wiped out half of europe's population in 1350.

or, black money, a scam where con artists attempt to fraudulently obtain money from a greedy victim by persuading him/her that  piles of banknote-sized paper in an envelope is really money which has been dyed black (e.g. to avoid detection by customs).

or, black monday, 19 oct 1987 when the american stock exchange lost 22% in a single day. that event marked the beginning of a global stock market decline, making Black Monday one of the most notorious days in recent financial history.

or, black friday. in september 24, 1869 there was a financial panic in the United States caused by two speculators’ efforts to corner the gold market.

but today, the friday after thanksgiving day in the US is also called black friday, a name originally given by the Philadelphia Police Department in 1966. "Black Friday" officially opens the Christmas shopping season and it usually brings massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to closing.

over the years, the importance of the consumer spending during this period has become important to the sale figures for the retailers, & crucially adds to the bottom-line. it could turn a lacklustre loss-making year into one with bulging profits. hence, the terms "in the red" & "in the black."

however, black friday is only applicable in the US. over here, every & any occasion can be used as gimmick sales - new year sale, mid-year sale, year-end sale, opening sale, renovation sale, stock-clearing sale, closing-down sale.....

the list is endless.


Unicorn Girl said...

I just finished reading the meaning of Black Friday on Yahoo only to discover it's all about the start of American version of a ' mega sale ' .

house-tai said...

yah lah, as a malaysian, black friday is smthg that i find hard to understand. only ONE sale in the whole country for the whole of the year??? maybe it's like their version of J-card Day...only a thousand times bigger and more violent. i remember that ppl had been killed in a black friday walmart stampede previously!!

doc said...


yes, it's their year-end sale, & very much like UK's post-christmas sales.

have you bought anything from our year-end sales?

doc said...


even jusco has a few j-card days a year.

yes, the stampede....i wonder if we would also come to that stage in the future; after all, we are not well-known for our road etiquette!

iml said...

In a Sales, I've always ended buying things I don't really need/like just because I see a frenzy crowd scrabbling for the seize/colour. And some sales are not even genuine. Sale on goods which are not usually the store's items.

doc said...


that's a common fallacy; we often think sale items are cheap to the extent that we buy things we may not actually need.

i still have a few wall mirrors from the ikea sale that's been in the store room for the last 3 years!

Hello Kitty said...

It seems that historically, the Philadephia police dept treated 'Black Friday" with grim, as they had to deal with massive traffic congestion, chaos, shoplifting etc from dawn to night. Even as late as 2-3 years back, there was a stampede at Walmart on black friday and an employee was trampled to death. The mob even broke thru the glass doors. It's surely a 'black' day for victims. Maybe it's a good thing that mega sales has become so common.

Anonymous said...

There are endless reason(s) for sales! :)

doc said...

Hello Kitty,

we asians are not immune to stampede either. some years back, when McDonalds in S'pore offered Hello Kitty dolls with their meals, there was a similar stampede till the crowd broke thru the glass doors.

doc said...

Mei Teng,

good thing, too, so we can shop thru out the year.