Obituary: Black Friday gets killed by online shopping


Rachel McCoy

The funeral notice of two holidays that Covid-19 has cancelled.

by Ashley Nash and Emily Lotito

Black Friday, 59 years old, born on November 24, 1961, passed away on October 13, 2020.  The cause of death was “lack of interest.”  Unofficially, the final blow may have been Covid-19 related.

Black Friday was conceived in the 1950s in Philadelphia when large crowds would come into the city of Philadelphia for the Army-Navy football game that occurs every Saturday after Thanksgiving. There were so many tourists and shoppers in the city that the police would have to work extra long shifts to deal with the crowds and traffic. There were so many people that shoplifting was easy and occurred often around this time.

In 1961 Black Friday was born in Philadelphia, it didn’t become a star in the rest of the country until 1985. In the 1980’s, stores changed the negative connotation of Black Friday into a positive one. Stores marked the Friday as a day when they would start making profits because people go on shopping sprees for the holidays. 

The final blow to Black Friday was Amazon’s Prime day on October 13–another traditionally unlucky day.. 

Amazon created a two-day period for people to start their holiday shopping. With holiday shopping available 24-7 and at a major discount, the need to celebrate Black Friday’s birthday has been removed. No more foot traffic, fighting for limited “early-bird” sales, and camping outside of Walmart to get the best deals.

“I shopped on Prime Day ,and I found some really good sales on popular brands like Under Armour. Personally, I wouldn’t care if Black Friday ended because it’s very chaotic, and most of the best sales are now online,” said Grace Coccagna, Class of 2021.

On Prime Day customers were able to get discounts on apparel, toys, tech gadgets, beauty, and kitchen items.

Black Friday had already been suffering from a long illness.  The event had grown a one-day holiday to a four-day holiday. Friday stayed the same; Saturday and Sunday were for shopping small and local, and Monday was for shopping online.  

Kaelyn Diaz, Class of 2022 said, “ I enjoy Black Friday shopping, but I would not mind if it was taken away. It can be very violent and get out of hand quickly. I think there should be more restrictions to prevent things from getting as bad as it sometimes does.”

Black Friday was once loved and celebrated by many. On Thanksgiving Thursday families shopped the sale fliers in the newspaper.  People would line up for hours to go to Black Friday’s birthday parties.  

Senior Taylor Mitcham said, “If in person Black Friday was gone, I would be sad because I always enjoyed the big crowds of people. I love the adrenaline rush you get when the store that you’ve been waiting for finally opens. I know Black Friday won’t be in person this year because of COVID-19, but I’m hoping it will be next year.”

Black Friday had been fighting a disease called “online shopping,”  Symptoms include brown boxes and Amazon/UPS trucks running up and down neighborhood streets. The online shopping was growing inside Black Friday’s and they were unable to fight it off. Black Friday did all it could to conquer online shopping, but was unable. 

Consumers are able to shop online without even leaving their beds. The department stores appear to be catching the same illness. 

You could be scrolling through Instagram and see something you like and then purchase it without even leaving the Instagram app.  Many online stores offer free returns, so even if you don’t like what you’ve purchased or it doesn’t fit, that’s OK. The customer can just make an exchange or a full return.

Junior Ashley Alt is not willing to give up on in-person shopping completely.  She works at Kohl’s as a cashier. “We did have a lot of people come into the store to return items, but for me it seems like most people come to shop, and if they do return items, they seem to stay to shop more.” 

Black Friday also tested positive for COVID-19, so no one would be able to visit. People are worried about getting the virus from Black Friday shopping, decreasing the number willing to take the risk of in-person shopping at this very busy time.

The safest option is to shop online, but if you’re shopping in person be safe!