Sunday, December 1, 2013

Black Friday - a big shopping day in the USA

Thanksgiving is a holiday in America when families get together and have a turkey dinner.

This is a Turkey:


The day after Thanksgiving is called 'black Friday' by department stores.  I never understood why it is called 'black' Friday since, generally, it is a day when people happily spend lots of money buying Christmas presents.  I guess it's a difficult day for the people who work at the department stores.

According to the BBC, this Black Friday wasn't a very good day in many department stores.  It looks as if there was some violence in some stores.

The article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25151956

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

to be marred by violence - to be ruined by violence; to mar something is to make it dirty or less good.  If you have a spot/stain on your white shirt, you can say your shirt has been marred by the spot.

a frenzy - a wild, aggressive activity pursued by a crowd (sharks go on a 'feeding frenzy' when there is some food that several of them want to eat)

bargain-hunters - people looking for good discounts

besieged - attacked, mobbed, swarmed; besieged is an old-fashioned military term for attacking a castle...if a lot of people go to a place and act aggressively in the place, it is as if they are attacking the place

alleged shoplifter - someone who was thought to be robbing stuff from the store

amid - in the middle of

a trend - something that is happening more and more; these days department stores are opening on Thanksgiving to add an extra shopping day

national chains - chain stores; stores owned by one giant company but spread out throughout the US

stormed - 15,000 people aggressively entered Macy's

the flagship store - the central, most important store

mobbed - crowded with aggressive people

dragged - the car was pulling the police officer behind it

wrestle the item back - they struggled for the item, they fought to control possession of the item

the queue - in America we use the term "line" - people were standing in line outside and got into a fight

doused with pepper spray - this is a spray which temporarily hurts a person's eyes so that the police can arrest the person

a pledge to overhaul something - a pledge is a promise; to overhaul something is to fix something completely

anecdotal evidence - weak evidence or proof, evidence based on what people say

consumer footfall - the numbers of consumers entering a store

saturation level - the level at which no more people can enter

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