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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

After every Thanksgiving would be the crazy shopping tradition of Black Friday, where American stores have their biggest retail sale of the year. As this tradition continues, some people camp out at bigger stores with tents and chairs to hold their places in line as stores open. Since last year, stores have been changing their opening times from midnight to 6 AM, taking away the midnight Madness ritual every year.

Many this year chose to stay home and online shop as deals are pretty much the same as they are with in-person shopping. Although many stores have been trying to get back to normal this year, traffic remains as chaotic as every other year. Cyber Monday has been a new tradition coined by the National Retail Foundation (NRF) since 2005, created by retailers to encourage shoppers to move online. 

This year Black Friday Shopping sales have dropped 28%. Most people have started shopping earlier in the season, just as they did last year. Since there was a much later opening time, the rush to the stores was not as intense as most years. Before diving into how we should approach Black Friday differently, we should examine how black Friday started. There are many different myths and stories on how the tradition began. One theory leads back to how retailers measure profits and losses, profits being in black and loss in red. The connection would be that stores would be in the black on the day after Thanksgiving because of the discounts/sales.

The “real” history of black Friday goes back to the 1950s where the police labeled it in Philadelphia as a day full of commotion after Thanksgiving. Police officers were not allowed to take the day off. Because of the commotion, many shoplifters take advantage of the uproar of black Friday. The first theory was a story that stuck to say stores gained profit. Luckily, the negative connotations slowly faded. 

Cyber Monday is not precisely the new black Friday, but it is a great way to shop safely and efficiently for the retail holiday season. Last year, cyber Monday boomed a lot more than black Friday, and U.S. retailers landed $10.84 billion in online sales. Cyber Monday was first branded as a tech sales day but soon became an all-around retail sale holiday. Comparing last year’s statistics and this year’s Black Friday statistics, it seems that it might be better to switch to online shopping within the holiday season.

I am a Vietnamese-American woman and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. I am also a potential Political Science and Economics major with a passion for human rights, on my free time I run a podcast with a few friends called 508Discussions.
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