In 2014, spending volume on Black Friday fell for the first time since the 2008 recession. The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving in a shopping context suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. More than twenty years later, as the phrase became more widespread, a popular explanation became that this day represented the point in the year when retailers begin to turn a profit, thus going from being "in the red" to being "in the black".
$50.9 billion was spent during the 4-day Black Friday weekend, down 11% from the previous year. For many years, it was common for retailers to open at a.m., but in the late 2000s many had crept to or .
In the United Kingdom, the term "Black Friday" originated within the Police and NHS to refer to the Friday before Christmas.
It is the day when emergency services activate contingency plans to cope with the increase in workload due to many people going out drinking on the last Friday before Christmas.
Other retailers, like Sears, Express, MK, Victoria's Secret, Zumiez, Tilly's, American Eagle Outfitters, Nike, Jordan, Puma, Aéropostale, and Kmart, began Black Friday sales early Thanksgiving morning, and ran them through as late as pm Friday evening.