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People in the United States have many traditions associated with the winter holiday season. Thanksgiving is a popular one, with family gatherings and turkey dinners that many families look forward to enjoying. Even before the feasting is finished, thoughts often turn to shopping and finding good bargains. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, and this is a day that has become well-known for shopping and finding deals.
Black Friday started in Philadelphia during the 1960s, when police officers were overwhelmed by the large crowds of people who came into the city to shop. Police officers couldn't possibly take the day off when so many cars were causing traffic jams in streets and parking lots. Plus, with so many shoppers filling sidewalks and stores, the police had a really hard time managing the crowds. Slowly, the practice of having huge sales and crowds spread from Philadelphia to the rest of the United States. By the late 1980s, retailers had turned Black Friday into a shopping tradition with big sales and longer store hours.
At first, many retail stores opened at 6 a.m. on Black Friday, and shoppers were eager to get in the doors to find all of the deals. Gradually, stores pushed back their opening times to midnight or even earlier, on Thanksgiving Day. These days, shoppers stand in line for hours, waiting to get into stores to find specific items advertised at low prices. Some people even pitch tents to sleep in while they wait in line. Many of these items sell out quickly, so shoppers arrive early to try to get them before they are gone. Stores also try to attract shoppers by offering "early-bird" discounts that are only available when the stores first open for the day.
As more retailers established e-commerce websites, Black Friday shopping online has become increasingly more popular. Instead of fighting the elements and the crowds in stores, many people prefer to shop online to get Black Friday deals. A more recent shopping tradition is called Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is the first Monday after Thanksgiving. On this day, online stores offer special sales and discounts to people who choose to shop online.
A few key points about Black Friday:
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