Black Friday 2012

Black Friday is the discount shopping day that follows American Thanksgiving, which is always on a Thursday. Retailers promote Black Friday as the day to start shopping for Christmas. Black Friday is often advertised with "Christmas Sales" as well as "Thanksgiving Sales."

The word "black" in Black Friday refers to the term "in the black" meaning making a profit. Today, Black Friday is not a crucial source of profit to retailers, but is important in driving traffic into stores. Many retailers mail special Black Friday circulars to consumers, announcing deeply discounted items in the hopes that consumers will visit their store on Black Friday.

Marketing studies have shown that many Black Friday 2012 shoppers will buy other merchandise from stores in which they planned to visit to purchase advertised items. The increased volume of shoppers buying non-discounted items makes Black Friday profitable for retailers even though they do not make much profit on deeply discounted merchandise.

While some people head out on a Black Friday to just "window shop", others insist they will not shop on a Black Friday at all, citing overcrowded parking lots and wall-to-wall shoppers as reasons to forgo saving money at sales. Yet many others not only pre-plan which items they will buy from which stores, they are willing to brave long lines to get bargains on items they want. Each year, Black Friday has so many interested shoppers participating that it remains a retailing tradition in the United States.