What in the Sam Hill is a Black Friday?
Americans have a retail ritual in November not unlike our Canadian Boxing Day.
We in Canada have no such day, but with our dollar the way it is lately, it appears we're not opposed to the idea. Many Canadian shoppers are hopping the border to get in on the deals.
Teena Swiercz has her walkie-talkies charged, her gas tank filled and her money exchanged. At 10 o'clock tomorrow night, she and an accomplice will pile into the car and head for the border.
No, they aren't fugitives from the law. Swiercz and her friend Tracy Hodge, both nurses at the Jewish General Hospital, are joining in the rough-and-tumble U.S. retail ritual known as Black Friday. As always, it falls on the day after U.S. Thanskgiving, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It's the unofficial launch of the Christmas shopping season in the United States - their equivalent of Boxing Day, only everybody's still got money and stamina.
Black Friday is THE day to get a deal. Many retailers open their doors early and don't close until late at night - offering extra incentives to bleary-eyed early birds who start lining up long before the crack of dawn, ready to jostle, shove and race for limited quantities of drastically reduced items, especially clothing, electronics and toys.
According to a Consumer Reports poll made public this week, nearly one-quarter of U.S. residents plan to hit the stores on Black Friday, so named because stores overflowing with customers are profitable, or "in the black."
This year, the soaring loonie has bargain-minded Canadians joining the fray in the popular cross-border shopping haunts of Burlington, Vt., and Plattsburgh and Massena, N.Y. A number of retailers in Burlington, a two-hour drive from Montreal southbound on Interstate 89, have taken out ads in Montreal newspapers promoting Black Friday sales.