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DVDs on sale for Black Friday at Best Buy in Chicago
A sign advertising a bin filled with DVDs on sale for 'Black Friday' is displayed at a Best Buy store on November 25, 2011 in Chicago. Best Buy along with Target and other retailers opened their stores at 12 a.m. or even Thursday night for the first time in years hoping to get an early start on 'Black Friday', the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.
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Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On this day, most major retailers open extremely early, often at 4 a.m., or earlier, and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season, similar to Boxing Day sales in many British Commonwealth countries. Black Friday is not actually a holiday, but most non-retail employers give their employees the day off, increasing the number of potential shoppers. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005,[1] although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate,[2] have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time.[3] The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.[4] Use of the term started before 1966 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that "Black Friday" indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or are "in the black".[5] For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00, but in the late 2000s, many had crept to 5:00 or even 4:00. This was taken to a new extreme in 2011, when several retailers (including Target, Kohls, Macy's, Best Buy, and Bealls) will open at midnight for the first time, forcing employees to either go without enough sleep or miss all or part of Thanksgiving with family. A backlash has resulted, with an online petition gathering more than 184,000 virtual signatures urging Target to let their employees have Thanksgiving with their families instead of their employer.[6] Walmart will open at 10:00 on Thanksgiving night and Toys 'R' Us at 9:00. In 2010, Sears was open on Thanksgiving day. Because Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, the day after occurs between the 23rd and the 29th of November.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Black Friday."
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