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Black Friday: A History

The traffic. The parking lots. The traffic. The deals! The lines. The paralyzing, face-numbing Black Friday traffic. Love it or hate it, Black Friday has become a part of the American holiday tradition and the trend is growing. Cyber Monday now follows quickly on the heels of the new post-Thanksgiving ritual, which seems to start earlier and earlier every year. What little research has been done on the subject of Black Friday has turned up some interesting results. Reports of using the term reach all the way back to the ‘60s in Philadelphia, where police officers used ‘Black Friday’ to describe the consumer chaos on the city’s streets the day after Thanksgiving. It wasn’t until the 1980s, however, that retailers appropriated the term and attempted to give it a friendlier, more positive origin story. Prior to that time the tone was negative and even national newspapers warned shoppers to stay off the streets to avoid the crowds. It would appear that retailers (and crafty marketers) have done a fair job of refashioning Black Friday into a kind of community event; a pastime made more enjoyable by the people-watching and the prospect of winning a great prize. Sociologists and psychologists ponder the influence of humanity’s natural attraction to competition, both as a participant and a spectator. Not only that, there’s also an element of “the berry tasting sweeter for the thorns.” In other words, people often tend to feel even better about getting a great deal if they have to suffer a few slings and arrows along the way. And … then there are the rest of us, who’d rather spend Friday on the couch in a gravy-induced stupor (if we’re so lucky) than stand in line for a new TV. After all, that turkey and stuffing sandwich isn’t going to eat itself! Besides, there’s always the Internet. There’s no arguing the fact that great bargains are to be had if only we suited up and hit the streets, but sometimes the siren song of the online deal (along with warm socks and a mug of hot cocoa) is enough to keep us nestled by the fire with the world at our fingertips. If you’re one of these types, or if you just can’t get enough savings, feel free to browse the Black Friday deals at <a href="http://www.atgstores.com/">ATGStores.com</a>. Or, swing through on Cyber Monday if the Thanksgiving holiday weekend wears you out. In-store deals are great when you can get them, but eventually the doors must close. The Internet, on the other hand, always seems to be open and you never know what you’re gonna find.
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