Black Friday is the term used to describe the day after Thanksgiving in the United States and is generally seen as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Although Black Friday originated in the United States, it is now a major shopping day in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and several other countries. The Monday following Black Friday is now famous for online shopping discounts and is known as Cyber Monday. In a response to large department stores and big box retailers’ domination of Black Friday shopping, the day after Black Friday has recently been dubbed Small Business Saturday.
The Friday after Thanksgiving has marked the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the United States since the 1930s and since at least 2005, Black Friday has been the busiest shopping day of the entire year.
Retailers have traditionally offered special Black Friday sales to attract customers. These sales, combined with news reports of low stock and shopping hysteria, cause holiday shoppers to swarm the most popular stores, not wanting to miss out on a great deal or arrive too late and find that everything has been bought up already. Many large retailers have caused controversy over recent years by continually pushing their opening times back, from a reasonable 6am on Black Friday to 5pm on Thanksgiving Day.