Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (the Fourth Thursday of November). It has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, since the 1930’s. And hence most retailers such as Toys’ R’ Us, Best Buy, Macy’s and Target offer promotional sales on their products. And since 2005 it has been regarded as the busiest shopping day of the year. Although unconfirmed reports state that it has been the busiest since a long time.
Black Friday is the busiest shopping day for a variety of reasons. As the first day after the last major holiday before Christmas, it marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season. As such many people start flocking to stores and retail outlets to get the best deals and earliest start on their holiday shopping. Additionally, many employers give their employees the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. To take advantage of this, practically every retailer in the country, large or small, offer multiple sales including limited doorbuster/doorsmasher/doorcrasher items to attract traffic. Many retailers have extended beyond their normal operating hours to maintain an edge or simply keep up with their competitors, in fact various outlets have opened overnight on Thanksgiving Day and sometimes open even as early as 12:00 am and beginning sales prices at midnight.
An example is of such is of Toys ‘R’ Us, in 2010, on Thanksgiving day they opened their store at 10:00pm and stayed open late till midnight, meanwhile also offering a coloring book and Crayola Crayons box while the stocks lasted. Other various retailers began their Black Friday sales early on Thanksgiving morning and then stayed open as late as 11:00pm Friday evening, retailers included Kmart, Sears, Aeropostale, Express, Puma, MK, Victoria Secret, Jordan, Tilly’s, Zumeiz, American Eagle and Nike. Traditionally, it was common for Black Friday sales to be extended to the entire following weekend, however this practice has largely disappeared in recent years, probably because of an effort by retailers to create a greater sense of urgency. In 2015, Neil Stern of McMillan Doolittle said, “Black Friday is quickly losing its meaning on many fronts,” because many stores opened on Thanksgiving, and a lot of sales started even earlier than that. Online shopping also made the day less important.
Some websites start reporting Black Friday deals almost a month in advance, showcasing their offers and promotions on various products and services. This was effectively realized in 2005, by the National Retail Federations, Shop.org, when they invented the term Cyber Monday, which was the Monday following the Black Friday, where shoppers who couldn’t shop on the day or couldn’t find deals surfed online to find offers they could still take advantage of. In fact, in 2014, even more so than Black Friday, Cyber Monday was the busiest day of the year with sales exceeding two billion dollars, which was an entire 17% increase from the previous year.