Make Black Friday a National Holiday

For holiday shoppers and anyone looking for a great sale, Black Friday is a big deal. Most Americans (61.7% of them) have shopped online or in person during the holiday weekend.

And while it’s a significant event for shoppers who are seeking the sales, it’s even more significant for the retail industry. 30% of the year’s retail sales happen between Black Friday and Christmas. For specialty retailers, such as jewelers, this can be as high as 40%.

For a day that’s important to so many people and businesses, we’re asking that it be made into a national holiday. To sign the petition, click here.

Make Black Friday a National Holiday

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The statistics show that Black Friday is already a significant event for shoppers. 1 out of 3 American adults goes shopping on Black Friday. 72.8% of the weekend’s in-store shoppers shop on Black Friday. 73.1% of the weekend’s online shoppers shop on Black Friday.

Why are they shopping? 57% of Black Friday shoppers find the experience to be fun. 50.4% shop because the deals are too good to pass up. 31.2% shop because it is a tradition.

And if you’re wondering how much they’re spending, 233 million shoppers have spent $50.9 billion on a single Black Friday. On average, each person spends nearly $300.

Here’s Why It Should Be a National Holiday:

48% of the country already observes Black Friday as a paid day off. The states that already celebrate Black Friday are Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington and West Virginia. Nationalizing the holiday will give retailers in all states a chance for economic prosperity.

Black Friday has been spreading internationally, with both governments and retailers promoting it as a shopping day. The countries that recognize Black Friday are Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Making Black Friday a national holiday would help U.S.-based retailers stay competitive internationally.

Who Said Yes?

Our independent survey polled Americans about making the day a national holiday. Here’s who said yes: 58% of those age 18 to 24, 49% of people age 25 to 34, 41% of respondents age 35 to 44, 39% of all age 45 to 54 and 26% of those age 55 to 64.

When we further parsed the data, we found these subgroups who also said yes: 57% of women ages 18 to 24, 68% of parents, 75% of moms and 70% of people ages 25 to 34 who make more than $50,000 a year.

Moms and dads are more likely to be in favor of the national holiday. It would mean starting the holiday season with family time and getting a head start on buying the gifts Santa will give.

How We Got Here:

In 1863, Thanksgiving was named a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. As of 1932, retailers traditionally waited until the day after Thanksgiving for Christmas advertisements. But in the 1950s, the police in Philadelphia began using the term “Black Friday” to describe the many suburban shoppers who would travel into the city after Thanksgiving. Worried that Black Friday had negative connotations and that people would stop coming into the city to shop, there was an effort to rebrand the term in 1961.

By the 1980s, the event was becoming more widespread, but retailers in Cincinnati and Los Angeles were still unaware of the term in 1985. In the year 2000, a phenomenon called “Christmas creep” began, and stores started to ignore the unwritten rule to wait until after Thanksgiving to promote holiday shopping. Notably, Lowe’s began setting up Christmas trees by Oct. 1. In 2008, the first Black Friday death occurred when a stampede of Black Friday shoppers trampled a worker at a Long Island Wal-Mart. Just as holiday sales were being advertised earlier to capture more shoppers, the stores were opening their doors earlier and earlier. In the late 2000s, they opened on Friday at 4 or 5 a.m. In 2011, stores were opening at midnight. It jumped to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day in 2012 and 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day in 2014. Recently, sales have begun early Thanksgiving morning.

With the country’s economic policy committed to growth, Black Friday as a national holiday would allow more people to take advantage of the holiday shopping day, which would result in greater success for the retail industry.


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