America’s so-called ‘Black Friday’ passed at the end of November, with plasma TV and LCD TV sets both featuring heavily among the most shopped-for items. The last Friday in November has entered the American calendar as a date of note for all American retailers, but its name has nothing to do with any dark connotations.It is, in fact, considered the day on which most of them emerge from loss into profit – or out of the red and into the black – for the year, which means that their earnings for the rest of the pre-Christmas rush represent the money they make on their entire year’s sales. It has become a widespread custom for retailers to mark the day with special sales, as they seek to give some impetus to the sales in the just under a month which remains before Christmas.Black Friday has another close relation, which follows not long afterwards. ‘Cyber Monday’ is the day on which online shopping for Christmas traditionally is traditionally thought to hit a peak – although commentators’ views on whether it actually exists vary. The actual busiest online shopping day of all is often a Monday in December, but the ‘Cyber Monday’ term, which is now widely used to describe the day is believed to have been inadvertently coined by an online retailer’s public relations department before any meaningful figures looking into the phenomenon had been compiled.The name is believed to have originated from America’s National Retail Federation, when it first noticed, nearly a decade ago now, that the Monday immediately after Thanksgiving still saw large numbers of consumers off work, and they would head for their computers to do a spot of online shopping – especially if, as often happens, the weather had turned cold over the weekend.A major reason behind Monday being one of the most popular online shopping days is that people will have gone out to the shops over the weekend and researched items they want to buy. Then, when they return to work on Monday, they snatch some time to compare prices and decide to buy what they are looking for there and then.Of course, a great advantage to doing this online is that delivery can be easily arranged as part of the same transaction. The buyer then knows that all they have to do is arrange to be able to receive the item, and there’s no lifting and carrying of any heavy and valuable goods involved for them at all.