What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is one of the biggest retail shopping events of the year, bar none. It originated in the US and was successfully imported to Canada soon after. In the last couple years, retailers have rolled out savings on everything from brand-name electronics on leading brands like Sony, Dell, HP, Microsoft, and Apple at shops like Best Buy and The Source; to clothing from retailers like Forever 21, American Apparel, Le Chateau, and Old Navy; to household appliances and furnishings from department stores like Hudson's Bay, Sears, and Walmart; to basically anything you could possibly want from online epicentres eBay and Amazon.ca.
While some might have us believe that "Black Friday" has something to do with the retail phrase of "being in the black" (a.k.a. making a profit) -- and that's probably more than true for a lot of retailers! -- there's a lot more going on than that. There was actually a market crash on Friday, September 24, 1869, that newspapers referred to as Black Friday. The two men responsible for the crash were Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, Wall Street financiers who tried to control the market by driving up the price of gold. It was in Philadelphia nearly one hundred years later that police officers used the term "Black Friday" as a means to discourage the public from clogging up the streets in the shopping frenzy that inevitably followed Thanksgiving. Thank goodness they weren't successful in their efforts! Retailers spun the name into the one we're familiar with today, when retailers move their ledgers from red to black, turning a profit on their way to Christmas.
When is Black Friday?
The date of Black Friday always falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving in the US. Black Friday this year then, is on November 25th. The retail "holiday" has grown from a one-day frenzy to a four-day (sometimes week-long) event with businesses opening earlier on Friday and even extending online deals into the wee hours of the morning. From Thursday night door-crashers, to weekend carry-overs, to Cyber Monday's online shop-a-thon, Black Friday has turned into a retail holiday that keeps on giving. We will be posting the latest Black Friday deals here in the lead-up and during the weekend itself from your favourite participating retailers.
What is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is the Monday following American Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday 2016 falls on November 28th. The day was coined by Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation (NRF) in 2005, when she noted that this date held the record for the highest revenues for online sales. The event refers to an online-only shopping event offering discounts on electronics, home appliances, personal accessories, and apparel. Some retailers wait until Cyber Monday to announce their online deals, saving in-store deals for Black Friday, but with the popularity of online retail, both Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become online extravaganzas. There aren't really any hard and fast rules either, because these days, the event often extends past Monday to the whole week.