Ah, New York Times, what a sin in this shopping story about the Black Friday 2005 Web site:
From a cramped dorm room in California, Mr. Brim, an 18-year-old college freshman who dines on Lucky Charms and says he rarely shops, is abruptly pulling back the curtain on the biggest shopping day of the year.The biggest shopping day of the year, dollarwise, is not Black Friday, although that is a common myth.
The day after Thanksgiving may be the day that most people go out, and it certainly is an excuse for retailers to offer some wild and crazy deals. But more money is usually spent on the Saturday before Christmas, because of procrastinators like me.
The International Council on Shopping Centers lists these as the busiest shopping days for the last five years:
2004: Dec. 18 (the Saturday before Christmas)(This is the only hard data I've been able to find so far [and is sourced from ShopperTrak], but most references I read put Black Friday around the fifth-busiest day of the year.)
2003: Nov. 28 (Black Friday)
2002: Dec. 21 (the Saturday before Christmas)
2001: Dec. 22 (the Saturday before Christmas)
2000: Dec. 23 (the Saturday before Christmas)
Why is it called Black Friday? Supposedly, it's the day each year when retailers go from being in the red to being in the black for the year.