ShopperTrak, which monitors customer traffic and sales at 25,000 stores nationwide, says that Black Friday has been the top sales day every year but one since it started monitoring holiday data in 2002; the only exception was in 2004, when the busiest day was the Saturday before Christmas.
However, you won't necessarily get the best deals on Black Friday. Stores have discounts that are just as good throughout the holiday season. And there are even better deals to be had after Christmas Day. But if you wait too long, you might not get exactly what you want since stores have kept their inventories lean this year.
Black Friday mania is seeping into Thanksgiving Day, with several stores opening that night.
In Sioux Falls, the Empire Mall is opening at midnight. KELO-TV is teaming up with the Empire Mall to make it a big event that will include more than $2,000 in prize drawings. Those will happen at 1, 2, 3 and 4 a.m. Prizes range from giftcards to a TV. You must be present to win.
Walmart:Thursday 10 p.m.
Toys R Us: Midnight
Best Buy: Midnight
Bed Bath and Beyond: Midnight
KMart: 5 a.m.
Menards: 6 a.m.
Lewis: 6 a.m.
Staples: 6 a.m.
Office Max: 6 a.m.
Opinions differ on the origin of Black Friday. One theory is that it had roots in the 1960s in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy pedestrian and car traffic on the day after Thanksgiving. The most common theory, though, is that the day got its name because it's usually when retailers turn a profit for the year, or operate in the "black."