Black Friday and Cyber Monday

US’ seasonal shopping traditions


Daniel Ramirez

Consumers swarm a mall on Black Friday

Irresistible bargains, seasonal shopping and customer competition form the foundations for what Americans know as Black Friday. This holiday shopping tradition originated in Philadelphia around the 1950s when people swarmed the city to attend a football game: one that occurred every year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Authorities in Philadelphia started referring to the day as Black Friday due to all the chaos and influx it produced, according to

Eventually, the term Black Friday found itself across the country as retailers caught on to the frenzy and began creating eye-catching discounts to attract customers. Black Friday grew to become a sensational bonanza as it became the unofficial beginning of the financial holiday season.

Over the years, Black Friday has changed drastically. Competition is higher, deals are available for longer and merchandise is more accessible due to online shopping, according to

“[During Black Friday,] the stores are almost too crowded to enjoy your time shopping,” sophomore Ashton Soots said. “People are sometimes rude, and every store comes with a 25-minute wait just to check out.”

As the world has become more virtualized, so has shopping. Cyber Monday, which occurs the Monday after Thanksgiving, has become the Black Friday of the online world. It originated from a collective of online marketing agencies as a response to the increasingly popular Black Friday, according to

By shopping online, customers can avoid many of the inconveniences that real-world shopping inquires.

“I like shopping online more because you don’t have to wait in lines and get around all the people,” Soots said.

In the end, the decision of whether or not to holiday shop online comes down to personal preference. While both shopping frenzies cater to discount-searching customers, they are each unique in their own way and have their own sets of pros and cons.

“With Black Friday, there’s a wider discount on almost all items in-store, yet it can be difficult locating certain styles in stores with everyone placing clothes they don’t want anywhere in the store,” junior Rafael Millangue said. “With Cyber Monday, the pros are you can purchase [a variety of items] at great discounts, but [merchandise] can be out of stock and online ordering can have a longer shipping period.”