Todd Lyden

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday: the Power of Myth

photo: Burning Image 
I've taken part in Black Friday- sue me, I love a bargain for the kids. Really!
I've always assumed that story about retailers only hitting the black on the holiday shopping extravaganza was true.
I looked it up this year and learned that there are two stories that appear to be true.
Either it is an older 19th century story or the one that sounds truer: Philly cops noticed the bad level of traffic and higher number of shoppers on the day after Thanksgiving in the 1960s. Adding to the pain, an Army-Navy football game made traffic insane.
I'm not sure which story you believed, but did it matter?
The how of the name of the day after Thanksgiving is lost to most people. All that REALLY matters is the fact that retailers kills themselves to offer the best deals on these days leading up to the Christmas holiday.
The power of myth is such that we have taken it in and it is just part of the story we tell. What other stories are told that you know that don't matter where they came from, just that they lead to an end result.
One that gets MILLIONS shopping at midnight?
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