Winston Zeddemore - Contributing Writer
The retailers of a 1961 era Philadelphia coined the term Black Friday in reference to the large number of pedestrians and traffic created by the "day after Thanksgiving" sales that mark the beginning of the holiday shopping season. I can only guess what they were originally thinking in choosing black to describe the throngs of humanity; but the connotation was since modified (wisely) to refer to the "in the black" profits the merchants hope to capitalize on.
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There is always a hungry pack waiting to rush the doors, where they will unmercifully pick through the once neatly displayed merchandise stalls. This won't be the last sale, but it will be used as an important forecast indicator toward the success (or failure) of a retailer's fiscal profit. The merchants get a good idea of what products are going to need re-stocking and pray that on those precious items; supply will meet demand.
And what do we precious consumers covet so dearly as to be unable to wait through a 24 hour supply cycle? The answer to that question could land you a job as the top buyer on Main Street; as it seems every year some product becomes scarce by mid-December.
It makes you wonder what Boxing Day will be about when everyone revisits the hysteria to exchange or return the very items that were clamored for just days earlier. Didn't we just buy this stuff?
Is this the real US economy? This ping pong game of give,take and return seems to be a wash from where my economic outlook sits. What is it that we value as consumers more than the very act of consuming? What do we as a national workforce bring to the table in terms of exportable value? The US doesn't even make three quarters of what we consume.
Are we seeing past the peak of our national consumerism? The future doesn't look bright in that area. As a matter of fact, it looks kind of gloomy this dark black Friday.