It’s the day after Thanksgiving 1959 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police reporter Joseph P. Barrett of the Philadelphia Bulletin newspaper was working the beat with City Center police and it was absolute chaos. Traffic had ground to a halt, foot traffic jamming sidewalks, crosswalks, with stores packed to capacity.
The Christmas season had kicked off in center city with mobs descending on holiday decorated stores to grab bargains and check everything off their list. As he waded through the crowds with the police officer trying to get traffic moving again, the officer mumbled, “Black Friday”. Barrett made a note in his pad and talked to other officers at the police station and discovered it wasn’t Mischief Night, Halloween or even New Year’s Eve they dreaded the most, the day after Thanksgiving and the shopping chaos that ensued.
The following year Barrett and fellow reporter Nathan Kleger dropped a front-page story in the Evening Bulletin with the words, “BLACK FRIDAY” in bold splashed across the page. The name had stuck and from Pennsylvania, it went nationwide, becoming forever associated with the biggest retail shopping day of the year. It would be another two decades however before Black Friday as we know it today became a widely accepted tradition. During the 1980s with the boom in retail shopping, new toys, electronics and gear, iconic department stores such as Macy’s helped popularize the unofficial holiday.
My First Black Friday Memory
When I first moved to the United States in 2005, I wanted to experience every ritual and tradition I could as an American. So one year later on Black Friday, 2006 my husband Gautama and myself bundled up late at night and headed to the local Walmart to battle for our place in line and a first crack at door busting savings. It was a bitterly cold night, with the wind coming in from Lake Michigan, but we were young and wild…sharing the thrill of an almost retail sport with strangers. Gautama had his heart set on getting a PlayStation 3 that had just launched the week before, one to keep and one to resell. We ended up spending the evening stomping in the cold, staying warm and sharing stories and memories with complete strangers, bonding over this shared experience. I’ll never forget that moment (though I don’t miss those Michigan winters!)
Black Friday at Perfect Locks
As a business owner, Black Friday has come to mean something more. For the last 16 years, its been the most thrilling and stressful days of the retail shopping year. The whole month of November each year is dedicated to creating a shopping experience for our customers in our store and online to meet their needs for the holiday season. More than that, it’s a time for us as a business to take a step back and show gratitude to all of our customers by going as long as we can in savings as a small gesture.
The excitement of the weekend of shopping doubles as we see hundreds of customers file into our retail store to get hair solutions of all kinds for themselves or their loved ones. Online thousands of customers queue for our online sales timer to hit zero and the savings to begin. The love and joy we see on this day is unbelievable as I think we all get a little feel for that “holiday spirit”, the one time of the year we give ourselves the license to get just the right thing for ourselves or our loved ones. Our staff is always on hand to answer questions and works around the clock to address everything from questions on the right hair extension type or even just shipment updates.
My Black Friday Shopping Tips
When it comes to shopping, over the years I’ve always picked up some helpful tips on getting the most out of Black Friday savings:
- Find the deals you want in advance. Always evaluate the deals to find out if you are really being given a savings. It’s become a tactic for some stores to artificially inflate prices to create the illusion of a deal. Do your research! If you’re in a store, don’t be afraid to use your phone and check sites like Consumer World or camelcamelcamel.com that will check pricing history.
- Do your research on what exactly you want to buy. Some deals are great, but if the reviews are poor, will your rock bottom deal on that electronic gadget mean that it lasts a year or less?
- Plan your travel route for the day. Some deals on some items will only be available at certain retailers, so get there early to make sure you get a chance before it's gone. If it's a new item launching for the holiday season be it a gaming console or even a toy, popular items will move fast.
- Make sure you keep your receipts. When shopping for the holidays for others, make sure to get and keep gift receipts! Everyone makes mistakes sometimes with sizes when it comes to clothes.
- Make sure the credit card you are using is the RIGHT card. Pay attention to special savings or bonus points that kick in for certain months and also pay attention to the interest rate you are paying. The point of the holiday season is always to give, but not to give at the cost of years of debt due to compounding interest.
For our local customers, we look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces once more next Friday! Happy Shopping….love you All!