Black Friday: How It Has Become Its Own Holiday
It’s no secret that Black Friday has been edging out Thanksgiving for years. Black Friday is the Friday after the American holiday of Thanksgiving, and it signifies the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Many stores are known to cut prices on products and deliver “can’t-miss” deals to consumers.
At this point, Black Friday has become a holiday and of itself, and some consumers consider it priority over Thanksgiving. Amidst the madness, people can expect frenzied shoppers pushing and shoving their way towards the deals and waiting in lines that wrap around the entire store.
In past years, injuries and deaths have occurred due to the uncontained pandemonium of Black Friday crowds—at Wal-Mart and Target specifically.
“The Black Friday creep” is the phenomenon of store doors opening earlier and earlier each year. I remember last year, Target started its doorbuster sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The pressure on consumers to have Thanksgiving dinner ready by 2 p.m. and be at the mall by 6 p.m. is not going away anytime soon.
Even worse, the employees of these stores are not only expected to work crazy hours on actual Black Friday and the weekend after, but they are now expected to leave their loved ones on Thanksgiving Day to work. However, I was pleased to hear that many notable companies like Apple, IKEA and Nordstrom are remaining closed for Thanksgiving Day this year and allowing their employees to enjoy the holiday.
While it is still the busiest shopping day of the year and a crucial event for the economy, the introduction of online Thanksgiving Day deals and Cyber Monday have drastically decreased Black Friday turnout. According to an article from The Balance, Black Friday shopping traffic declined by 9% in 2018 compared to traffic in 2017.
The majority of toy sales are now made online, Wal-Mart’s website in particular, during the holiday season. Toys “R” Us is a prime example of a company that was affected by this as they filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and have now closed all locations.
We will probably never see shoppers abandon brick & mortar stores, but the new trends in how consumers think and spend their money combined with the introduction of online shopping will certainly change Black Fridays to come.
This blog post was written by Paige Kunkel, Director of Diversity and Inclusion.