The A to Z English Podcast | Black Friday

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Black Friday is a day that marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the United States, and it falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, which is the fourth Thursday of November. Traditionally, Black Friday is considered one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and it is often characterized by large discounts and promotions offered by retailers. Many people take advantage of the significant sales and discounts to kick off their holiday shopping.

The term “Black Friday” originated in the 1960s, and it was initially used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Over time, the meaning evolved to represent the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit for the year, moving from “in the red” to “in the black” in accounting terms.

Black Friday has become a global phenomenon, with retailers in various countries offering special promotions and discounts on this day. In recent years, online shopping has also played a significant role, with many Black Friday deals extending to e-commerce platforms. Some stores even open early or have midnight sales to attract customers looking for the best deals.

In 2008, a Walmart store in Valley Stream, New York, experienced a tragic incident during the early morning hours of Black Friday. As the store opened its doors for the sale, a large crowd of shoppers surged forward, breaking through the store’s glass doors. Unfortunately, a temporary employee, Jdimytai Damour, was caught in the rush and trampled to death. Several other shoppers were injured in the chaos.

This incident raised concerns about the safety of Black Friday events, leading some retailers to reevaluate their crowd control measures and opening strategies. In response, some stores implemented changes, such as offering tickets for high-demand items and staggering the release of deals throughout the day, to prevent similar incidents in the future.

It’s essential to approach events like Black Friday with caution and prioritize safety to avoid any harm to individuals involved. The tragic incident in 2008 serves as a reminder of the potential dangers associated with large crowds and high-demand sales.

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