According to Shopify, Black Friday earned its name from the Philadelphia Police Department sometime in the late ’50s or ’60s. The concept (massive shopping deals after Thanksgiving) was already in full swing, causing traffic and chaos in the city. Philly PD called the day Black Friday in an effort to sully the event’s reputation and deter consumer madness.
We all know how why that turned out.
Cyber Monday was added to the fray in 2005. Media picked up the term immediately, and it has since toppled Black Friday out of its spot as busiest shopping day of the year.
Any way you slice it, BFCM’s roots aren’t pretty, and its reputation followed it into the 21st century, where every year, crushing crowds, crashing websites, and customer brawls dominate the media.