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Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday — NOW Grey Thursday?

Black Friday Shopping Begins On Thanksgiving Evening
Black Friday sales, which now begin on the Thursday of Thanksgiving, continue to draw shoppers out for deals and sales. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Yes Virginia, now there’s a Grey Thursday (Thanksgiving) that refers to the day before Black Friday. Not to grey the waters so let’s take these two definitions one at a time to clear up any confusion.

Black Friday

Black Friday was first coined by police officers in Philadelphia who were frustrated with the congestion of holiday shoppers. Remember this was before traffic lights when a policeman directed traffic at every intersection.

As you can imagine retailers weren’t exactly warm to the term that insinuated congestion and auto fumes for shoppers.

Retailers tried to counter by referring to it as “Big Friday.” As we all know that term never caught on.

Black Friday remained a strictly Philadelphia term until 1990 when someone defined it as the day store profits go into the black.

It finally replaced the day before Christmas as the biggest shopping day of the year in 2001.

It might be the biggest shopping day of the year but it might not be the most profitable day of the year.

Big screen TVs and home computers are almost free if you get to the store in time. So profits for the big day might depend more on high volume than individual sales.

Now What’s This Grey Thursday All About?

Leave it to Walmart to mess everything up. They were the first to break tradition in 2011 by opening on Thanksgiving night.

Did it make a difference?

I guess the bargains must be pretty good because 33 million Americans will hit the stores on Thanksgiving night. If you’re counting that’s 10 percent of the entire US population.

Good luck not getting trampled to death.

Some Final Thoughts

OK, we’ve got Thursday (Grey Thursday), and Friday (Back Friday) covered but what about the rest of the weekend?

Not to be outdone American Express sponsors Small Business Saturday and encourages all their members to hit local small business stores and spend big bucks.

And who could forget Cyber Monday? — The biggest online shopping day of the year.

If you missed the grey, black, and small business, sales there are always online sales on Monday that you can do in the comfort of your favorite pair of jammies.

I guess Sunday is a day of rest.

Your four-day weekend is now covered so Happy Shopping and a very Happy Thanksgiving weekend from all of us at AM 1450 KMMS.

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