The Friday after Thanksgiving is referred to as Black Friday in the U.S. retail industry. Many retailers will operate at a loss ("in the red") for most of the calendar year, hoping to first cover all their losses and then run up profits during the Christmas shopping season, which traditionally starts on the day after Thanksgiving and runs to December 24. With the massive numbers of shoppers on that Friday, retailers hope that they can erase the year's losses ("red ink") in that one day, virtually guaranteeing that their balance sheet will wind up positive ("in the black") for the year.

So though the name might sound ominous (especially side by side with such events as Black Monday), Black Friday is actually a positive event in the U.S. retail world.