Black Friday as we know it is beginning to die. With retailers pushing sales and specials earlier in November, it is looking like the event of Black Friday is losing its significance as a holiday shopping day. When Cyber Monday came on the scene several years ago, buyers discovered they could wait a few days, avoid the crowds, and still get great specials, all ordered from their desk at work.
Black Friday is so named because it is the official start of the holiday shopping season. As crowds surged, retailers’ profits for the year went from the red to the black, ensuring that they would end the year on a high note. To entice shoppers to go to their store over other stores, the retailers then began to offer insane specials and deals – a percentage off. Then a larger percentage off. Then a large percentage off and doorbuster deals. People would literally end up hospitalized or dead trying to beat someone else to this amazing deals.
And when all this simply wasn’t enough for the corporate greed, retailers then began opening earlier and earlier on Black Friday, eventually going so far as to opening doors on Thanksgiving afternoon, desperate for shoppers and little caring that their employees just might want to spend that day with their families before the craziness that is working retail during the holidays begins.
We have seen major retailers shuttering their doors this year. Sears and Toys R Us both come to mind, and these stores closed for specific reasons. I know a couple of ladies from church who have a tradition of staying up late and shopping early, and one of the stores they’d hit in their dark-of-night mania was Toys R Us. Their kids are tweens and teens now, but shopping will take on a very different look for those shoppers for whom TRU was a staple.
Over the course of the past week, I have seen Black Friday deals advertised on Amazon, Facebook, and Google. I’ve seen such retailers as The Disney Store promoting the opportunity to take advantage of Black Friday specials this week. You don’t even have to wait for the actual day of Black Friday anymore. A few clicks and you’re done. No crowds, no battling for parking at a bustling mall, no getting dressed in three layers of clothes to endure the chilling cold that typically is Black Friday morning while you wait for stores to open.
When stores discount their prices for Black Friday, something happens the week before: They raise their prices. A recent article at Business Insider states that retailers will increases prices from 8-23% in the days and weeks prior to Black Friday so they still will get their same profit margins. I’ll be spending time in an upcoming blog post discussing that some more.
As this Friday comes up, what’s your plan of attack? Will you be hitting the shops or clicking “buy now”? Have you finished shopping? Or do you shop artisans throughout the year?