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Good (Morning) Question: Is Black Friday Worth It For Stores?

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(credit: CBS) Jason DeRusha
Jason DeRusha filed his first report for WCCO-TV on April Fool's D...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Jason DeRusha answers Good Questions on weeknights at 10 p.m., but the WCCO Morning Show figured you all had some queries when it comes to mornings. So DeRusha reached into his mailbag and pulled out a few Good (Morning) Questions, and will do so every Friday morning.

This week, Jason DeRusha takes on Black Friday, and the mysteries behind the big shopping day.

Christie Hanson from Maplewood: “Who came up with the term ‘Black Friday’?”

A lot of people think it’s because it’s the day stores go from being in the red to the black, meaning they start turning a profit.

But the term actually goes back to at least 1966 and Philadelphia. They called the day after Thanksgiving Black Friday because it was an irritating day to be a cop. Philadelphia’s center city in the 1960′s would be mobbed with cars and over-crowded sidewalks.

Donna Koehler from St. Paul: “Is Black Friday/Thursday really worth it for the stores to open so early or is this a game?”

From a profit standpoint, it’s probably not worth it.

The holidays are huge for retailers, making up anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of their annual sales.

But Black Friday is often a day for window shopping or even losing money on those door busters.

This one day is not a make-or-break for most.

Larry from Plymouth: “Who are the crazies out there shopping so early?”

Black Friday is a young person’s game. The National Retail Federation said 55 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds say they’ll definitely shop during the three days after Thanksgiving.

Fifty-two percent of 25- to 34-year-olds say they’ll be out in the stores.

Once you get to the over-55 set, it’s less than 20 percent, proving once again that as we get older we get a little bit smarter.

Incidentally, there is no chance that I’m going to be up at 3 a.m. lining up to save $50 on a TV.

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