Black Friday attracts CSUN students to holiday deals, despite economy

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Shoppers take advantage of early Black Friday deals at the Northridge Fashion Center. Photo Credit: Misael Virgen / Assistant Photo Editor

In social media today, Black Friday is associated with shopping, sales, long lines and chaos. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season.

“Last year was the first year I went shopping on Black Friday and I’m definitely going to wake up early on Friday to go again,” said Alexander Lasana, sociology major. “I can’t wait to get to the mall.”

Some students will not allow financial challenges or the craziness of the day get in the way of getting the Black Friday deals.

“I wasn’t planning on attending, but I probably will because everything is going to be cheaper,” said Kelsey Specter, business marketing major. “The economy is bad, so a bunch of stores are trying to sell everything. When I attended last year, it was really hectic and it was really hard to find things.”

Bonnie Taylor-Blake, a neuroscience research analyst at the University of North Carolina and amateur linguist, has done some research on the origins of the term “Black Friday.”

The name Black Friday used to be associated with the Philadelphia Police Department at the start of the Christmas shopping season, which would bring huge traffic jams and overcrowding in the sidewalks and all the stores in downtown Philadelphia, Taylor-Blake said.

In another part of her research, she found many people, specifically store owners, think Black Friday refers to their ledger books going from negative values, which would typically be shown in the color red, into positive values, which is shown in the color black- hence the “black” in Black Friday.

The majority of students have seen an increase in Internet ads for Black Friday, but television commercials still have the greatest hits with Black Friday. Most of the ads are promoting sales in their stores. Kmart, for example, is promoting a layaway, said Lisseth Breyes, psychology major.

“I’ve definitely been seeing more promotional advertising,” Specter said. “It’s as if Christmas is coming sooner this year. The economy is affecting some people to not participate and others to participate to buy things they normally wouldn’t buy.”

Some students, like Ugochi Nnamdi, business major, have seen many more advertisements for stores like Target rather than for stores like Best Buy.

“I’ve seen a lot of promotional ads in newspapers, but I’m still not going to attend,” said Xochitl Guzman, nutrition major. “There are good deals, but it just gets too hectic.”

Some students refuse to participate in Black Friday because of the chaos of the day itself, not because of their financial situations.

“I tried to go last year, but I got there too late and all the deals were over,” said Rich Alpert, CTVA major. “I’m not going to get up early to participate this year.”

Another possible theory Taylor-Blake found for the name Black Friday is because Friday, Sept. 24, 1869, there was a huge crash in the gold market on the New York Gold Exchange, which came to be known as Black Friday. It is thought by some that the day after Thanksgiving is named after that day in 1869 because the prices in stores plummet just like the gold market did.

“The economy is pretty bad right now, so I probably won’t go shopping on Black Friday,” said Ashley Paologan, health science major. “But I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails from Forever 21 and H&M about their deals for Black Friday,”

Some students just worry about both their finances and the chaos.

“The lines just get too long,” said Ernesto Ayala, undecided major. “But, if my friends go and if I have the money, I’ll go on Friday. Or I’ll just shop online.”

Some students know they will participate.

“I’ll be going to shop for technology on Friday,” said Carlos Romero, physics major. “But we’re not even promised the deals until the Thursday before. You have to buy the Los Angeles Times and cut out the coupons and have them ready before you go to the stores. But I’m still willing to wait in the three-hour line, especially at Fry’s.”

Breyes said she is forced to shop on Black Friday.

“I’m only going because my mom really wants to go to buy everyone’s Christmas gifts,” Breyes said. “I wouldn’t go if it wasn’t for my mom.”

Some students say they do not know anything about the day.

“I really don’t know what day Black Friday is,” said Jake Reschke, geology major. “Even if I did, I don’t want to get trampled to death over a DVD player.”

Regardless of their reasoning, Black Friday still seems to be popular among CSUN students seeking to get the greatest deals they possibly can on both clothes and technology.


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