Retailers are preparing for what they hope will be yet another record-setting global shopping spree on Black Friday, the fourth Friday of November, which this year is Nov. 24. Known for crowds lining up at big-box stores to pounce on doorbuster discounts during the early hours after American Thanksgiving, Black Friday normally marks the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season. Retailers in the US, Europe and elsewhere will be trying to cash in on the hoopla.
Starting around the 1960s and early 1970s, police and bus drivers in Philadelphia used the term “Black Friday” to refer to the chaos an influx of people to the city created before the Thanksgiving weekend. Visitors would trawl the stores in Philadelphia on Friday with their Christmas lists looking for gifts. Shoplifting and parking violations ensued. Department stores re-branded the term to “Big Friday” to put a more positive spin on it. But the name did not stick, and since the 1980s retailers began to describe Black Friday as the day when their retail ledgers are allegedly “in the black,” or operating at a profit, as customers start holiday shopping, according to Marcus Collins, a marketing professor with Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.
“What we know is Black Friday, because it’s so ceremonial, we get more people participating in it,” Collins said.
Photo: Reuters 照片：路透
Retailers including Best Buy, Macy’s, H&M and pure e-commerce retailers like Shein and Temu are already touting early Black Friday “deals” of up to 30% off on some limited merchandise online and in stores. Such early promotions could help them measure shopper demand and avoid product shortages, which could be a big problem this year. Water levels in a key shipping artery, the Panama Canal, have dropped due to a severe drought, cutting the number of ships carrying merchandise through it. Many retailers in the US intentionally muted their holiday hiring plans. Labor shortages are also a challenge for retailers in Europe, meaning shoppers could find fewer staff to help them.
Around 130.7 million people are planning to shop on Black Friday this year, according to data from the National Retail Federation (NRF). Thanksgiving weekend, which encompasses Black Friday and Cyber Monday — the Monday after Thanksgiving — is typically the busiest shopping period in the United States.
But Dana Telsey, CEO of Telsey Advisory Group, said Black Friday itself will not be as important this year. With Christmas falling on a Monday, the “procrastination factor [is] even greater because shoppers can wait until Saturday or Sunday” before Christmas to get gifts, she said last week.
Photo: AFP 照片：法新社
Although most US stores will be closed on Thanksgiving again this year, opening for shoppers at 5am or 6am on Friday, some retailers are advertising discounts online that kick in starting at 12:01am on Thanksgiving.
Retailers big and small are touting online ordering and curbside pick-up this year for the convenience of shoppers who want to avoid stores. In the past decade, Americans’ Black Friday purchases online have more than tripled, reaching US$9.12 billion on the day last year, according to data from Adobe Analytics.(Reuters)
Photo: Reuters 照片：路透
約從1960年代及1970年代初開始，費城的警察與公車司機用「Black Friday」（黑色星期五）一詞來指感恩節週末前人群湧入該市所造成的混亂。週五，要買聖誕禮物的遊客會拿著購物清單在費城的店裡掃貨，順手牽羊及違規停車等狀況因而出現。百貨公司將「Black Friday」一詞重新包裝為「Big Friday」來賦予更積極的含義，但這名詞並未沿用下去。根據密西根大學羅斯商學院行銷學教授馬可斯‧柯林斯的說法，自1980年代起，零售商開始以「黑色星期五」來描述其帳簿轉為「黑字」（即有盈餘，非赤字）的日子，因為顧客開始為過節採購。
百思買（Best Buy）、梅西百貨（Macy’s）、H&M等零售商 ，以及希音（Shein）與Temu等純電子商務零售商已早早推出黑色星期五「優惠」，網上及實體店面的一些限量商品可享最高七折的折扣。這類提早的促銷活動可幫助商家衡量購物者的需求，並避免缺貨——缺貨可能會是今年的大問題。由於嚴重乾旱，主要航運動脈巴拿馬運河的水位下降，導致通過該運河的商船數量減少。美國許多零售商刻意放緩假期徵人計畫。勞動力短缺也是歐洲零售商面臨的挑戰，這表示協助消費者的員工會比較少。
Have you ever wondered about the odd name “eggplant” or heard of its bizarre nickname, the “mad apple”? The tales behind these names are just as unusual as the vegetable’s appearance. The name “eggplant” dates back to the 18th century. It wasn’t inspired by the familiar long, purple type we often see and enjoy in Taiwan. Instead, it was a unique variety, which was small, egg-shaped and white, that earned it its name. While the British were in India, this particular form caught their attention. It prompted them to adopt the term “eggplant.” Even though new eggplant varieties in
A: People magazine just named actor Patrick Dempsey 2023 Sexiest Man Alive, while American football brothers Travis and Jason Kelce took the first and second spots in the sexiest athlete category. B: Isn’t Travis Kelce Taylor Swift’s boyfriend? I didn’t know that her boyfriend’s so hot. A: And this year, Korean soccer player Son Heung-min was No. 8. B: Were there any other Asian athletes on the list? A: Your favorite Japanese baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani also made it to No. 15. A: 《時人》雜誌最近公布，男星派翠克丹普西是今年全球最性感男人，美式足球明星T.凱爾西和他哥哥J.凱爾西，則包辦最性感運動員冠亞軍。 B: T.凱爾西不就是天后泰勒絲的男友嗎？原來她的男友那麼帥。 A: 韓國足球明星孫興慜今年也在第8名。 B: 還有哪些亞洲運動員有上榜呢？ A: 你最愛的日本棒球明星大谷翔平排在第15名。 （By Eddy Chang, Taipei Times／台北時報張聖恩）
對話 Dialogue 小清：你知道12月10日是世界人權日嗎？ Xiǎoqīng: Nǐ zhīdào shí'èr yuè shí rì shì shìjiè rénquán rì ma? 小華：喔？我不知道。為什麼有這個日子？ Xiǎohuá: Ō? Wǒ bù zhīdào. Wèishéme yǒu zhège rìzi? 小清：世界人權日是為了紀念1948年聯合國通過《世界人權宣言》，也提醒我們，要繼續努力保障人權。 Xiǎoqīng: Shìjiè rénquán rì shì wèile jìniàn 1948 nián liánhéguó tōngguò “shìjiè rénquán xuānyán”, yě tíxǐng wǒmen, yào jìxù nǔlì bǎozhàng rénquán. 小華：所謂的人權，到底是指什麼呢？ Xiǎohuá: Suǒwèi de rénquán, dàodǐ shì zhǐ shénme ne? 小清：就是每個人不分種族、膚色、宗教、性別、語言、政治或其他見解、國籍或社會出身、財產、出生或其他身份等任何區別，都應該享有自由平等的權利。 Xiǎoqīng: Jiùshì měi gèrén bù fēn zhǒngzú, fūsè, zōngjiào, xìngbié, yǔyán, zhèngzhì huò qítā jiànjiě, guójí huò shèhuì chūshēn, cáichǎn, chūshēng huò qítā shēnfèn děng rènhé qūbié, dōu yīnggāi xiǎngyǒu zìyóu píngděng de quánlì. 小華：哇！聽起來非常重要，那我們可以做些什麼呢？ Xiǎohuá: Wa! Tīng qǐlái fēicháng zhòngyào, nà wǒmen kěyǐ zuò xiē shénme ne? 小清：我們可以去參加活動，或是在社群媒體分享訊息，呼籲大家關注人權議題。 Xiǎoqīng: Wǒmen kěyǐ qù cānjiā huódòng,
When it comes to popular symbols of marriage, one cannot look past the wedding ring. The wedding ring serves as a perfect symbol of everlasting love—a ring is a circle and thus has no beginning or end, representing the never-ending union of marriage. Wedding rings have long and rich histories. Evidence suggests that wedding rings were used in ancient Egypt around 6,000 years ago. However unlike the metals and gemstones used today, they were crafted from materials such as reeds, leather, or bone. In the centuries that followed, the wedding ring tradition was picked up in the West, where it spread