The day after Thanksgiving is popularly known as Black Friday. But do you know why? Black Friday references an old bookkeeping practice of marking profits in black ink and losses in red ink. The term “Black Friday” is related to the day after Thanksgiving (4th Thursday in November) because it is the “official” start of the holiday shopping season in which most retailers hope to be profitable.
In the B.C. (Before Child) era, my husband and I made Black Friday our own personal holiday. The challenge: begin and end our holiday shopping in one day — plus score the best deals. We woke early, reviewed the ads and shopped until we dropped. This day truly put us in the holiday spirit; and we did not mind the crowds. Fast forward a decade later… Black Friday shopping in Cincinnati is not only a shopping nightmare (crowds, parking, finding a babysitter), it’s now starting before the Thanksgiving turkey is on the table!
Many shoppers may begin their deal hunting on Thanksgiving Day. For example, retailers such as Walmart, Target and Kohl’s open their doors at 6 p.m. However, other stores such as Hobby Lobby, Lowe’s, Home Depot and Nordstrom are honoring the holiday and opening early on Friday morning.
Of course, you can stay in the comfort of your home and shop retailers online (many having Black Friday sales from Wednesday to Friday). Amazon.com is very popular for its hassle-free online shopping and free shipping. Last year, from the comfort of my couch, I found many deals on Amazon without having to brave the holiday crowds (and my child loves making fairy homes with the boxes: win/win!).
Whether shopping from home or venturing to the stores, here are a few shopping tips to make Black Friday Shopping in Cincinnati more enjoyable and successful:
- Shop Early: Many retailers offer the Black Friday deals in the days before. There will be a better selection of items and you will beat the crowds.
- Get Exclusives: Join the email lists or “like” the Facebook pages of your favorite retailers. You may be offered early sales or exclusive coupons on your favorite items.
- Do Your Homework: Most Black Friday advertisements will be posted in the days before the holiday. Review and compare costs and quality of the sale items. You want the best deal on the best products.
- Budget: Make a budget to decrease your chances of overspending. Also, shop with cash or credit card to decrease chances of fraud.
- Wait for Cyber Monday: Don’t worry if you missed the deals on Black Friday. Most retailers will continue sales throughout the holiday season. Keep an eye out on Small Business Saturday (11/26), Cyber Monday (11/28) and throughout the month of December.
This Black Friday check out these great Cincy insider deals:
- Clothes Mentor: Black Friday Blowout Sale! Get 40% off the entire store and 10% off ALL designers.
- Once Upon a Child: On Black Friday only, take 40% off all regular priced items in the store.
- Half Price Books: Get 20% off your purchase, and the first 100 people at each store will receive a free tote bag and a $5 HPB gift card. One bag will contain a $100 gift card!
- SMari Designs: Take 30% off One Item (some restrictions apply) and in store specials.
As a Girl Scout leader, I teach the girls to “Always be prepared.” This advice can also apply to Black Friday shopping. The more educated you are on sales, store hours and products, the more likely that Black Friday will be successful; and hopefully be the start and end of your holiday shopping!
Ainslie Gordon is a St. Louis, Missouri native and graduate of the University of Missouri’s Journalism School. Her career has focused on advertising, public relations and event planning. In 2011, Ainslie and her family moved to Cincinnati; and she became a stay-at-mom and founder of the blog, Modhousewife.
Additionally, she was a fashion/trends contributor on Fox 19 and Fox 2. Currently, Ainslie is the Marketing Director for Game On! Fitness. She is also a Girl Scout leader and enjoys volunteering throughout the community.