Black Friday affects the city of Searcy

Searcy, Ark., LP — For a number of years now, Americans have enjoyed the company of family and the mounds of food on Thanksgiving day; the day before U.S. citizens pour into stores and flood the aisles, pushing and pulling their way to the best deals at that time.  To Americans, this war zone is known as “Black Friday.”  According to Sarah Pruitt, the original term was not of a joyous concept.  Black Friday was actually a name that was given to the 1869 U.S. Gold market crash; two wall street financiers worked together to buy and sell the nation’s gold for unreasonably high prices and had their plan unravelled, which lead to the stock market’s downfall and to the bankruptcy of every wall street baron.  In the 1950s, Philadelphia cops used the term “Black Friday,” to describe the mass of shoppers that would crowd the city the day after Thanksgiving for the Saturday football game.  The cops used the term negatively, due to the chaos that ensued on those Fridays, and because they weren’t allowed to take off during that time.  1961 was when the term really hit Philadelphia, to the extent that shoppers were using it.  Retailers unsuccessfully tried to redirect the name and change it to a more positive one; “Big Friday.”  Sometime in the late 1980s, retailers came up with a way to positively keep the name “Black Friday.”  Since then, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been called “Black Friday,” to represent the day that stores make a profit.  

Shoppers at Walmart in Searcy, lining up for Black Friday deals.

Some people do not go out on Black Friday, due to incidents that may occur.  Maddie Cossitt, a local shopper, explained her situation this year, but said that fortunately what happened would not keep her from going in the years to come.  “This past Friday was crazy; one lady kept hitting me with her buggy and someone else took my buggy.  The lines were long and many people were rude, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from not going in the future.”  A lot of people do not attend the sales due to traffic and the problems that people can cause when trying to get a product that they want first.  JL Tillett, a local police officer, doesn’t believe that Black Friday is the reason for crime, but it can be the environment in which incidents arise.  “Anytime we have a crowd of people, all hoping to get a bargain on an item that is limited in stock, there is a chance for tempers to flare.”  He continued to explain that most violent crimes that occur the week of Black Friday aren’t heard of in Searcy.  “The biggest issue that comes with Black Friday in Searcy is the increased volume of traffic and potential for accidents.” 

Survey results of SHS students.

         According to a survey taken of Searcy High School students, 42.1% of people believe that Black Friday is a beneficial event.  Twenty-six point three percent of students believe that the event is not helpful to society.  Maddie Cossitt believes that Black Friday is a good event despite the incidents that may occur.  “It’s good for the companies, the economy, and who doesn’t like awesome deals?”  Though some people may use sales events like Black Friday as a way to harm, steal, or commit other crimes, a lot of people use the event positively and would not like the benefit of having it, taken from them.  SHS had 31.6% of students say that they would vote for Black Friday if it was put on trial to keep or dispose of it, and only 5.3% said they would vote against keeping the event.

        Overall, it is safe to say that Americans enjoy their sales.  Whether or not Black Friday is beneficial to society, the sales event is thought of in a positive manner as of right now.  If you go out in the years to come, remember to drive safe, shop smart, and don’t forget to spend time with your family and friends.  

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