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Friday, November 25, 2016

BLACK FRIDAY, AGAIN

Black Friday first became prominent on 24 September 1869 when the U.S. stock market crashed.  Eight years ago I had a posting with this title, and it was about the 26 December 2008 Honolulu blackout, commemorating a truly Black Friday, the day of the 2004 Indonesian earthquake and Tsunami.  More recently, the United Kingdom suffered a Black Friday, the day after it voted to exit the European Union on June 23.  The country, it turns out, has also now embraced the American Black Friday, which has to do with extreme shopping.

Today is the latest and most popular Black Friday, when you at all costs avoid driving to any shopping mall.  You can add almost as black Thursday to your stay away list, for most stores now open on Thanksgiving evening.  The irony is that shoppers think that prices are the lowest on these two days.  Turns out prices actually drop after Black Friday.  But, you say, they'll run out of the really good deals like Star Wars toys if you wait.  Good point.  Worth a sacrifice to avoid the crowd.  

However, most major chains allow you to purchase these doorbusters on their website from Thursday night, many with free shipping if you buy enough.

  • Toys are cheaper two weeks before Christmas.
  • Mostly, off brand TVs and the like are on sale on Black Friday.  More popular brands drop in prices closer to Christmas, depending on inventory...and might keep dropping until right before Super Bowl, which this year occurs on February 5.
  • Christmas decorations prices drop after Black Friday.
  • Winter coats, hats and boots are cheapest on December 23.
  • Gift cards are marked down only from mid-December.
  • Watches and jewelry tend to go on sale the final weekend of the Christmas weekend.
  • Workout equipment?  Wait until after January 1.
  • Want something really cheap for yourself?  Shop after Christmas.
Depends on who you believe, Black Friday, as named, began either in 1938, 1951 or 1961.  However, it took until the middle 80's for the term to become widespread.  Another reason for BLACK is that this is the day retailers hopefully go from red to black in terms of profit for the year.  Over the past decade there have been seven deaths and nearly 100 injuries on this day from shopping.  

With the one exception of 18 December 2004, since 2003 this has been the busiest shopping day of the year.  The first holiday parades begin today, and Honolulu has three, with the biggest being the Waikiki Holiday Parade beginning at 7PM.

Ho, hum, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average again broke its all-time record, up 69 to 19,152.

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