Shoppers Welcome Early Start to “Black Friday”

Posted November 25th, 2011 at 6:20 am (UTC-5)
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Shoppers in the United States gathered outside large retail stores late Thursday for post-Thanksgiving sales that kick off the holiday shopping season, in an event nicknamed “Black Friday” for retailers’ high expectations for profits.

Black Friday — named so because profits were once recorded in account books in black ink, while losses were recorded in red — is the day many stores sharply discount typically high-priced items such as electronics and the latest new toys. Stores also open their doors hours earlier than usual, which helps create an air of excitement among bargain-hunters.

This year, several retail chains opened for Black Friday sales as early as Thursday evening, a time they would normally be closed for Thanksgiving. Reports indicate that shoppers were enthusiastic about the earlier openings, using them as a chance to extend the day’s celebrations into the night.

Black Friday, which falls on the last Friday in November, is one of the most important days of the year for large retail chains because it gives them an indication of what they can expect for the next month of holiday shopping — their most lucrative time of year.