Blackfriday-guide

Everything you need to know about Black Friday

Black Friday falls on the Friday immediately following Thanksgiving (celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the US) and is famed for being the biggest shopping day of the year. In fact, it didn’t become the biggest shopping day until 2002 but has remained in that position every year afterwards, with the exception of 2004, when it briefly fell to second place; before later regaining its first place position in the following year.

Black Friday Guide

Odds are, you’ve probably heard the words ‘Black Friday mentioned’ at some point, especially if you’re familiar with US culture or watch television shows/movies from there. On the other hand, maybe you hadn’t heard of it before, but now Black Friday has arrived in your country and you’re starting to see signs in your local stores advertising amazing and unmissable deals on a day that previously didn’t have any significance to you. However, Black Friday is a bit of an oddity even in its native country – a cultural phenomenon and fixed date on the calendar that has not grown from religion or any ancient cultural tradition nor is it a celebration of an event or person in history. It does follow Thanksgiving, but was not traditionally a part of it and is certainly not as old. It seems purely, well, commercial.

The idea of a commercial holiday is hardly foreign to many people. The commercialisation of Christmas, for example, is an oft-heard complaint. Ditto for Easter. But, both of these holidays have religious roots, and even in modern times with both holidays more known for presents and chocolate eggs, particularly in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Western Europe, the meaning of both still remains relatively intact and understood. Possibly, the most commercial holiday with traditional roots seems to be Valentine’s Day, which has long had only a fragile connection to said roots.

Those roots do still exist, even if many don’t know what exactly they are or what they originally meant, and at least it has a nice sentiment attached to it – love. Black Friday is only a holiday in some states of the US, and certainly isn’t in the majority of the countries of the world, but it is as well-known as some holidays and its fame has spread further and wider during the last decade.

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Braving Black Friday

Before going through the entire history of Black Friday, we first present a few tips that are good to know before going shopping on Black Friday.
We all know that shopping can be an both exciting but also a challenge, and on one of the busiest days of the year it can be even worse. The best thing is to have a strategy in place and know where you’re going and what you want before you leave your house, or turn on your computer if you’re online shopping.

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Here are 11 tips for Black Friday shopping

1. Know before you go….

They always say not to go shopping in a supermarket when you’re hungry, because you’ll buy any and all foods that is in your line of sight. It’s easy to get caught up in the atmosphere with shoppers all around you, and huge colourful signs with massive negative numbers typed on them don’t help matters. You may end up grabbing onto every little (or big) thing in the store that catches your fancy. Before you go, think about what you actually want to buy, and use apps and websites to find out which stores will have the products you want and which will have the best deals.

2. Which products are the most discounted?

Electronics are generally considered to be the goods that have the best deals – so if you want a really good discount, check out the DVDs/Blu-Rays, video games and other gadgets. On the other hand, clothes and accessories often have their lowest prices at other points in the year (January, August and September). There’s nothing stopping you from buying them, but make sure the discount justifies the purchase.

3. The early shopper catches the Blu-Ray player

You might not like getting up early, and many stores open at painfully early hours on Black Friday, but there are people willing to stand in lines all night and chances are if you show up later, well, there won’t be much left for you. Store opening times can vary – some have taken the bold (and controversial) move of opening during Thanksgiving day, others at midnight, and some early morning anywhere between 3-6am. Know the store opening time before you go.

4. ‘On sale’ doesn’t always mean much

A great tip from Forbes is to remember that there are plenty of stores that offer discounts and lower prices all year round and maybe you could avoid the Black Friday chaos all together by visiting one of those. If you have an idea of what you want to spend and you want to be able to look around calmly then it may be your best bet. Even if you’re not a big fan of the discount stores, or you think maybe the more expensive retailers may have better quality products, then you can always use a price comparison website beforehand to find out what places are worth visiting. You may be surprised which stores actually offer the best on-sale products.

5. Discounts are not all they’re cracked up to be

It’s not unthinkable that a store might try a little bit of a cheat in order to make a larger profit. They may advertise discounts in the store but that doesn’t mean that every product is actually worth the money or, more deviously, the product may be advertised as being a lower price but was actually being sold at the same price weeks or months before. There is also a known practice of claiming the original price of the product was higher. According to Time.com, “stores regularly use fake, inflated prices” to make their discounts seem even better. In fact, retailers J.C Penney and Kohl’s were both hit with lawsuits in 2015 for this practice; which was cited as being deceptive to customers. An excerpt from Time.com’s article about one other lawsuit against department store Macy’s states:

“Even an apparent bargain offering 70% off might not represent good value. In the lawsuit, one of the plaintiffs points to a Lennox ornament purchased in December at Macy’s for $17.99, a dramatic discount off the list price of $60. But there’s no proof that anyone ever bought such an ornament for $60, and Macy’s never even listed the item at $60 during the 90 days prior to the purchase. If the $60 list price is fake—and common sense says it is—then it’s impossible for shoppers to really know whether it’s worth $40, $20, or $2.”

Considering this information, remember to check the price of the product you want before the sales begin and bear in mind that maybe the discount you see isn’t as impressive as it seems.

6. Cheap can mean poor quality

According to The Cougar, in 2012, superstore Target offered two televisions from Apex and Seiki (priced at $147 and $88 respectively). As the article states, the televisions were being sold at a very cheap price but neither of the televisions were actually high-quality and there was also a lack of product reviews for them online as the brands were relatively unknown. The article also claims that not only are many of the products available on Black Friday made cheaply and produced specifically for that day but also stores may use the day to try and shift products that they struggled to sell the rest of the year. Tying into the first tip – know what you want before you buy or if a product catches your eye, think about how well you know the brand or quality of it.

7. Read the fine print

A valuable tip, provided by The Balance, is to make sure you know the policies of stores you’re buying from. In the craziness of grabbing products you want, you may take something home that you don’t like, don’t need or that the person you gifted it to isn’t really a fan of. So, you need to return it, right? But how long is the return policy for the store? Make sure you know this policy, make sure you get a receipt (ask for a gift receipt if it’s a present), and don’t wait too long if you need to take it back. Also, just as a general tip, sometimes warranties and insurance on more expensive and more fragile products is worth the extra expense.

The above tips are useful for if you’re braving Black Friday in person, but what if you’ve read about the chaos of the day and would prefer to sit at home bargain-hunting behind the safety of your laptop?

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Well, here’s another 5 tips specifically for you

With some information courtesy of the Independent:

Earliness exists on the internet too

Online retailers generally follow the same rules as their store counterparts – the deals go online at a certain hour and there are plenty of shoppers who will be waiting to jump on these deals as soon as they are available. Log on hours later and you may be struggling to find the hot products that you wanted. The Independent cites the 9am-11am rush as a time to avoid (remember websites can be overwhelmed and run slower or even collapse under the traffic) so it’s best to get online before that rush. Don’t forget that some online retailers, including Amazon, as mentioned previously, will have deals up the week before Black Friday.

Be registered

When you’ve found a great deal and are trying to buy the product as fast as possible before it sells out, you don’t want to waste valuable minutes filling out the registration form. Be registered and have all of your details on the website beforehand, especially those all-important payment details, then all you have to do on the day is click.

Social media is your friend

Retailers love having followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. And are more than willing to reward those who follow them, share their information or otherwise raise awareness of their brand merely by visiting their pages. Signing-up to these retailers online may mean that you get e-mails or messages about deals that the company is planning, even before other people know about it, or could even net you vouchers, coupons or a better discount for your loyalty. It doesn’t cost you anything, so why not? You may even get sent deals and vouchers throughout the year!

Your mobile phone is your other friend

Some people don’t have the time to sit all morning in front of a computer buying things, and even less to actually physically go out and browse around the shops. Many people work on Black Friday, retail workers especially, or have other engagements. But remember that you always have your mobile. Your morning bus or train commute (not in a car, though!) could be a valuable opportunity to use your phone to shop online, as well as anytime you have a break or a small amount of time for yourself.

Ready your virtual cart/basket

Remember, just because you have something in your virtual basket, doesn’t mean you actually have to buy it. One useful tip as suggested by Gotta Deal is to place all of the items that you want in your basket and then go to check-out before the sales start (make sure you have an account as mentioned before!). When the sale starts, refresh the page and the prices should change on the products that are now a part of the sale. You can dump out the items that still have the same price and go straight through check-out with your newly-discounted products!

The birth and growth of Black Friday

How did Black Friday come to be known as the biggest shopping day of the year? What is so special about this date in particular that it would become the date to do the most discount-shopping?

To start, the date falls just before the largest shopping period of the year in many countries – Christmas. There really is no official length to this shopping period in many places; with some retailers continuously trying to make the start date earlier and earlier (a concept that actually was first discussed in the mid-1980s and was dubbed ‘Christmas creep’) especially as a lot of countries that celebrate Christmas don’t have any large holidays in the months preceding Christmas. Some have minor holidays, such as Halloween in several or Bonfire Night in the UK, for example, but these holidays are not generally gift-giving and not large enough to justify shopping sprees. One of the exceptions to this rule is the US, which has Thanksgiving.

According to a document about the establishment of Thanksgiving by Congress, in 1789 president George Washington gave Thursday, November 26th as the date of Thanksgiving (he referred to it as a “Day of Public Thanksgivin”) in a proclamation. This was the first time the holiday was celebrated under the new constitution but despite this date, various presidents that followed shifted around the holiday date including placing it in different months. However, president Abraham Lincoln placed the date as being the last Thursday of November in his 1863 Proclamation. This date stuck for the next few decades.

In 1939, the last Thursday of November ended up falling on the last day of the month, which did not make retailers happy. The late date meant a shorter holiday shopping period and with the US going through economic recovery at the time, it was seen as detrimental to the economy. President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the date to the second to last Thursday from November; a move which was accepted by some states and rejected by others, leading to a temporary period in which Thanksgiving had two dates.

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The matter was finally settled in 1941 when Congress set the date of Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving then became a fixed-date holiday.

But how does Thanksgiving affect the shopping season? Well, according to an article by Money Crashers, retailers in the US have generally always followed a tradition of not advertising their discounts or holiday sales until after Thanksgiving, hence their chagrin at the original Thanksgiving date falling so late in the month. Retailers wanted to be able to advertise as soon as possible, but didn’t want to break into Thanksgiving; so they started doing so on the day immediately afterwards.

Even with Black Friday, which didn’t officially have that name until much later, really gaining its official fixed date and status as the start of the holiday shopping period in 1941, it actually had a long, shaky start in becoming the phenomenon that it is today. At least from 1993 until 2001, Black Friday fluctuated between being the fifth and tenth most popular day for shopping, with the Saturday before Christmas (sometimes called Super Saturday) generally being first. Money Crashers speculates that Black Friday’s growth has been for three reasons – many workers having a long holiday weekend due to Thanksgiving, thus having the day free to shop; many stores having longer opening hours to attract more customers and also simply because almost every store has a sale on that day, which they will advertise heavily.

Why the name ‘Black’ Friday?

How did Black Friday come to be known as the biggest shopping day of the year? What is so special about this date in particular that it would become the date to do the most discount-shopping?

To start, the date falls just before the largest shopping period of the year in many countries – Christmas. There really is no official length to this shopping period in many places; with some retailers continuously trying to make the start date earlier and earlier (a concept that actually was first discussed in the mid-1980s and was dubbed ‘Christmas creep’) especially as a lot of countries that celebrate Christmas don’t have any large holidays in the months preceding Christmas. Some have minor holidays, such as Halloween in several or Bonfire Night in the UK, for example, but these holidays are not generally gift-giving and not large enough to justify shopping sprees. One of the exceptions to this rule is the US, which has Thanksgiving.

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According to a document about the establishment of Thanksgiving by Congress, in 1789 president George Washington gave Thursday, November 26th as the date of Thanksgiving (he referred to it as a “Day of Public Thanksgivin”) in a proclamation. This was the first time the holiday was celebrated under the new constitution but despite this date, various presidents that followed shifted around the holiday date including placing it in different months. However, president Abraham Lincoln placed the date as being the last Thursday of November in his 1863 Proclamation. This date stuck for the next few decades.

In 1939, the last Thursday of November ended up falling on the last day of the month, which did not make retailers happy. The late date meant a shorter holiday shopping period and with the US going through economic recovery at the time, it was seen as detrimental to the economy. President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the date to the second to last Thursday from November; a move which was accepted by some states and rejected by others, leading to a temporary period in which Thanksgiving had two dates.

The matter was finally settled in 1941 when Congress set the date of Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving then became a fixed-date holiday.

But how does Thanksgiving affect the shopping season? Well, according to an article by Money Crashers, retailers in the US have generally always followed a tradition of not advertising their discounts or holiday sales until after Thanksgiving, hence their chagrin at the original Thanksgiving date falling so late in the month. Retailers wanted to be able to advertise as soon as possible, but didn’t want to break into Thanksgiving; so they started doing so on the day immediately afterwards.

Even with Black Friday, which didn’t officially have that name until much later, really gaining its official fixed date and status as the start of the holiday shopping period in 1941, it actually had a long, shaky start in becoming the phenomenon that it is today. At least from 1993 until 2001, Black Friday fluctuated between being the fifth and tenth most popular day for shopping, with the Saturday before Christmas (sometimes called Super Saturday) generally being first. Money Crashers speculates that Black Friday’s growth has been for three reasons – many workers having a long holiday weekend due to Thanksgiving, thus having the day free to shop; many stores having longer opening hours to attract more customers and also simply because almost every store has a sale on that day, which they will advertise heavily.

Another country that started with a negative connotation for Black Friday was Australia. The Black Friday Bushfires were a series of wildfires in 1939 that destroyed towns and killed 71 people. Despite this, Black Friday as a shopping day is gaining popularity in the country with retailers of US-origin such as Bloomingdales and Apple having introduced the concept which has been imitated by Australian companies. Online shopping is particularly big in Australia and in 2011 Black Friday actually caused a shift in online sales moving from UK stores to US ones, as these stores were offering the larger discounts, particularly approaching Cyber Monday (a newer shopping day that will be discussed later).

In 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mexico, from the gate, had decided to make their shopping event a 4-day long spectacular called “El Buen Fin” (The Good End or The Good Weekend). Instead of being related to Thanksgiving, Mexico instead related it to the Mexican Revolution, with the event taking place the weekend before this holiday. However, some have argued that prices do not drop as low as they do in the United States, and that many products may be bought on credit which later becomes debt if the customer is unable to pay it off. This may not support the original intent of bringing Black Friday to Mexico, which was to stimulate the economy. But, others argue that the large amount spent during this weekend ($8 billion pesos in 2011) is enough evidence of a cash injection into the Mexican economy.

For France, Black Friday has been a hard sell. Although famous retailers such as Darty and Habitat slashed their prices massively from November 28th-30th starting in 2014, many French shoppers were not convinced. In a country where sales have traditionally fallen after the Christmas period and Black Friday is not a tradition, many believe it will take a huge amount of pushing shoppers to participate and for many retailers to work together to create the shopping spirit. This article from the French edition of The Local highlights the French attitude towards Black Friday.

The global spread of Black Friday

With the massive profits that Black Friday has produced for the United States, it seems a natural next step for stores in other countries to try and emulate the same phenomenon, even if they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. On top of this, many countries already had events that were tied to the name ‘Black Friday’, often negatively, and some have had a hard time accepting the Black Friday spirit. Despite this, selling the concept around the globe is an especially important goal for international and online companies as this could provide them with opportunities to hit several markets at the same time.

Probably the most natural country to jump on the Black Friday bandwagon would be the USA’s neighbour to the north, Canada. As the two countries are connected, travellers often cross over the border to shop, particularly from Canada to the USA due to lower prices. So, more than other countries, Canadian businesses are directly competing with American businesses and thus have had more incentive to adopt Black Friday in order to offer the deals that would normally take their customers away. And since the early 2010s, this is exactly what Canadian retailers have done. One online retailer, Indochino, tracked daily sales during Black Friday week as being 10 to 11 times higher than average (in 2012). Retailers have seen this weekend grow into one of the most important weekends of the year, with some saying it has the potential to be the biggest shopping period of the year. Read about Canadian Black Friday at the Financial Post here.

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In the United Kingdom, “Black Friday” was already associated with a different occasion. Black Friday, according to the National Health Service and police force, is the last Friday before Christmas and is known for being a busy day and night for both of these organisations due to the much higher-level of partying and drinking. It is also known as “Black Eye Friday” (due to the number of fights breaking out in bars and clubs), “Booze Black Friday”, or “Mad Friday”.

This moniker persists to the present day for hospitals and police stations, but it could be said that in the public consciousness, it’s the American useage of Black Friday that is more well-known.

The newer incarnation of Black Friday really took root in the UK in 2010 – when large companies started to all cut prices on the same day. Now, most UK citizens buy online during the day in question, with a 36% increase year year reaching £1.1 billion in 2015 – however, it should be pointed out that retailers often stretch their sales to several days instead of just a singular one.

The New Zealand Herald published an article in 2015 about the Black Friday “mania” arriving to the shores of the country. Boxing Day (December 26th) is currently New Zealand’s largest bargain shopping day and Black Friday is still a relatively new concept but, as stated in the article, Google searches for ‘Black Friday sales’ increased 222% between 2012 and 2014. 164% of that growth was between 2012-2013, and 21% was between 2013 and 2014. Despite searches for ‘Boxing Day sales’ still being higher, retailers in New Zealand have seen an opportunity for Black Friday to become a big shopping day and a strong start to the Christmas shopping season – although many don’t believe it will ever overtake Boxing Day or even Christmas Eve, the other huge shopping day of the year.

India also saw Black Friday arrive to its shores in the last couple of years. Ebay claimed that it wanted to bring the shopping day to the country and, in 2015, actually started offering discounts 6 days before the actual Black Friday, which was on November 27th, with the sales period ending on November 30th. Other internet retailers are following suit and interest in shopping on this day is increasing amongst Indian consumers.

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The chaos of Black Friday

How many bank holidays or festivities do you know that have a website dedicated to tracking the injuries and deaths that have occurred as a result of it? Well, now you know one, and you can check it out here! Although things seem to have calmed down since 2014, it’s not an insignificant number, with the injury count almost reaching triple digits. Almost every Black Friday from 2008 to 2014 has had at least one report of aggressive behaviour, and there were incidents before that. Just typing ‘Black Friday’ into a Youtube search will bring up several videos of shopper chaos on the day, with some users even creating compilation and ‘best of’ videos.

So, starting from the year 2005 up to 2014, let’s look at some of the significant injuries, fights and other incidents that have occurred on Black Friday:

  • 2005
    In 2005, a pregnant women in Michigan and an old woman in Florida (in Walmart and BrandSmart, respectively) were knocked down and received injuries from being trampled by crowds entering the stores. Hubpages speaks about the incident here.
  • 2006
    In 2006, a stampede in a Southern Californian mall caused injuries to 10 shoppers.
  • 2007
    In 2007, a woman reaching for a laptop at a Walmart in Long Island, New York, was knocked down by fellow shoppers who also wanted the laptop and was trampled, leaving her with neck and back problems. Further details on Hubpages here.
  • 2008
    In 2008, at 4.55am, at a Walmart in Long Island, New York, 2,000 people stormed into the store 5 minutes before it was scheduled to open, by breaking through the doors despite workers trying to push them back. The stampede led to the death of a 34-year old employee named Jdimytai Damour and minor injuries to several others. Read about this incident at the New York Times here.
  • 2009
    In 2009, a man from Queens, New York, survived being shot in the stomach when three robbers tried to steal his flat-screen TV, however, the TV did not fit in their getaway car and they were forced to leave it behind. Read about this incident at New York Daily News here.
  • 2010
    In 2010, at a Best Buy in Augusta, Georgia, a man was stabbed in the back by a shoplifter who had been stealing a laptop. When workers at the store spotted the shoplifter and tried to take the laptop back, he got angry and pulled out a knife to try and escape. The victim was stabbed as he, workers and some other shoppers were trying to stop the shoplifter from escaping. Read about this incident at the New York Post here.
  • 2011
    In 2011, at a Walmart in Kinston, North Carolina, an off-duty police officer, hired to help with security at the store, began spraying shoppers with pepper spray while trying to arrest someone during a disturbance. One girl had to go the emergency room due to the spray affecting her asthma and the officer was arrested himself for not following instructions correctly. Read about this incident at NBC News here. The same year, in another Walmart in California, a woman also used pepper spray on other shoppers – she wasn’t a police officer, however, just a shopper trying to get more merchandise. The LA Times has the story here.
  • 2012
    2012 was one of the worst years for Black Friday incidents – one man crashed his car with his four daughters in the backseat. Due to his purchases taking up a lot of space in the car, two of the girls were not wearing seatbelts and were killed. The crash was blamed on the father being sleepy from being awake so early to shop. Read about this incident here. Meanwhile, a drunk driver hit several people in a parking lot at a Walmart in Covington, Washington and two people were shot in an argument over a parking spot also in a Walmart but this time in Tallahassee, Florida.
  • 2013
    In 2013, at a Walmart in Portsmouth, Ohio, the Norwalk Reflector reported that an 11-year old girl was trampled (but survived) as a crowd of people surged into the store. Meanwhile, in Carlsbad, California, a man was stabbed in the stomach outside of a shopping mall but survived after he underwent surgery for his injuries. Read about it at NBC San Diego.
  • 2014
    Of course, the USA isn’t the only country that has had these kinds of incidents. In the United Kingdom, there were fights and/or stampedes in Middleton, Stretford, Salford, Wigan, Cardiff, Dundee, Belfast and Glasgow – all in 2014, according to the BBC.
  • 2015
    The Guardian reports that in 2015 Black Friday sales for the first time is seeing a drop from $11.6 billion to $10.4 billion.

The end of Black Friday?

Over the last few years, journalists have started to discuss whether Black Friday can remain the massive shopping phenomenon that it has been over the decade or so. Despite the continued fame of the phrase ‘Black Friday’, which continues to spread across the globe and take root in new countries, the sales figures are starting to reflect a different reality, especially in-store sales. According to Yahoo News, in the USA in 2014, Black Friday sales fell 11% (total weeknd sales were estimated at falling from $57.4 billion to $50.9 billion) and the following year, in 2015, The Guardian reported that sales fell a further 10%, with Black Friday alone seeing a drop from $11.6 billion to $10.4 billion. Even before this, an Accenture study from 2011 estimated that only 44% of consumers were likely to go shopping on Black Friday, compared to 52% in 2009. In 2010, a survey by Consumers Poll reported that less than 25% of consumers wanted to go shopping on Black Friday.

So, what is causing this decline? Firstly, and maybe most importantly when it comes to the decline of Black Friday in terms of in-store sales, is to consider one of the biggest game changers in the world of retail: the internet. The decline of retail stores and shopping centres coinciding with the growth of the internet has already been well-reported in publications such as Forbes and it seems that Black Friday is no exception to this. Adobe reported a 14.3% jump in online sales between 2014-2015 reaching a total of $2.72 billion and one third of these shoppers used their mobile phones to make online purchases; a massive 70% increase compared to the year before.

Amazon even took it a step further by creating ‘Amazon Prime Day’, launched in 2016 and billed as their largest shopping day, and some sources are already reporting it as having better deals than Black Friday.

This isn’t really surprising – shopping from the comfort of your home seems a far better option than getting out of bed at a ridiculously early hour and standing in a long line to wrestle with other consumers. Not to mention the fact that many internet retail giants are able to provide better deals to their customers; often having lower prices in the first place.

Online sales also start at midnight or early in the morning, like their store counterparts, although some internet sites have taken to different fads – such as Amazon offering deals during the week before Black Friday.

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Secondly, another thorn in the side for Black Friday is the backlash that has come along with people having to work during, what many people consider should be, a holiday representing family and togetherness. This backlash has become stronger since sales started rolling back into Thanksgiving day, as some stores started sales at midnight on Thursday and some even further back. While many stores claim that working in the holiday period is voluntary or taken up by seasonal workers who want to work in this period, some sources have begged to differ. In an article by Bryce Covert for ThinkProgress, department store Kmart, which in 2014 decided to open for both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, is alleged to have told their employees that they all must work both days of the holiday despite calls for split-shifts. Employees claimed that Kmart had threatened to fire them if they didn’t want to work over the holiday. Kmart spokespeople claimed that the store tried to take on volunteers but had told employees beforehand that they may have to work the holidays and that they would be compensated accordingly with time and a half pay. This clash of a family-oriented holiday against large companies that can already suffer from a ‘cold-hearted’ and ‘profit above people’ image does not bode well for Black Friday’s longevity.

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Thirdly, and finally, as briefly touched open in the first point, Black Friday in many ways is no longer contained to one day. As well as the controversial roll-back of the sales into Thanksgiving, there has also been the introduction of Cyber Monday. Falling on the Monday after Black Friday, Cyber Monday, which was referred to by this name for the first time in 2005, is a day for online-only deals. Its sales have increased every year since 2006 and it is considered a good time for smaller retailers to jump in on the action and not be as dominated by the larger retailers. Like Black Friday, it has also spread into various countries and the term is now known in the UK, Spain, Canada, Japan, France and India, among others.

That represents days three over a five-day period in which you can potentially get deals. But, it has stretched even further than that. Some stores have started offering deals even in the week leading up to Thanksgiving and there is of course the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which still provides plenty of shopping opportunities. Maybe Black Friday as a single-day entity is on its way out?

Conclusion

Despite the occasional stampede and/or injuries that occur around Black Friday, and the calls of journalists and businesses saying that the shopping day is in decline, it’s still one of the biggest shopping days of the year and has really just been introduced into some countries where it has the potential to grow.

When people talk about the decline in sales for Black Friday, they’re generally referring to in-store sales which have fallen against online sales, but, according toStatista if we count them together then the US saw Black Friday sales reaching $1.656 billion dollars in 2015 against $1.505 billion dollars the previous year in 2014. Whether or not the number of people going to stores the day after Thanksgiving is falling, the day itself still generates massive profits and is clearly not going anywhere in a hurry. However, it may well have to share said profits with several other days, or even an entire week. Maybe we’re looking at the birth of ‘Black Week’ or ‘Black November’!