What Happened to Black Friday?

  • November 20, 2017
  • Jenna Maxwell

As soon as Halloween ended, there was a noticeable shift in the retail climate. It's almost as if Thanksgiving is but an afterthought because as far as your local retailers are concerned, post-Halloween, it's officially time to roll out the Christmas shopping season. Apparently, it's not too soon for retailers to start offering super holiday deals, either. "Get Black Friday prices now!" they advertise, and they mean business. Once upon a time, the Friday and weekend following Thanksgiving was the official time that a vast swath of retailer's annual sales would occur. Now it seems that Black Friday has become more of a concept rather than a particular event that happens on a specific day. The idea of holiday sales continues to expand--and truth be told, from now until Christmas Eve, it's relatively easy to find all manner of holiday promotions and deals.

Before Black Friday was even called "Black Friday," it was a big shopping day because of shoppers, not retailers. Families already gathered for Thanksgiving, turned their attention immediately to the holiday season and with an entire weekend looming ahead, started shopping for Christmas. Retailers, quick to seize upon any selling opportunity possible, fashioned sales and specials, early bird deals and stretched out their store hours - all because of that magical day that followed Thanksgiving, the notorious Black Friday.

That was then. Nowadays, a lot of the time "Black Friday" isn't even on Friday and it could just as well be called Black Thursday. Black Friday is not a day--it's a season. Big box retailers publish what will be in their Black Friday deals weeks in advance to create a lot of anticipation in potential shoppers. Many retailers are open for business on Thanksgiving Day to accommodate anxious customers who are all too happy to cash in on incredible deals. It's become a bit of a shopping frenzy in some places; with folks often waiting in line overnight to capture doorbuster deals and to be one of the first to grab those heavily discounted extra hot items. Admittedly, for the diehard, early bird sales and limited time specials are some of the best reasons to brave the crowds and head out shopping on the day after Thanksgiving.

Although the idea of Black Friday is likely not going anywhere anytime soon, the way American's shop has drastically changed, and so Black Friday has changed along with it. Black Friday today is more like an entire week of sales; perhaps it's even longer. Cyber Monday (the Monday following Black Friday) is rapidly taking over as the most significant holiday shopping day if the year and that often consists of people sitting at home at their computers doing the shopping rather than trudging through malls. The complexion of holiday shopping has shifted, and although there will always be shopping purists who enjoy the experience of store shopping as part of their holiday season, there are many more folks who'd rather not deal with the chaos and would rather just shop online.   To a large extent, Christmas is now delivered in a brown box.

Black Friday will come this year as it has in the past, but perhaps it isn't quite as relevant as it once was just a few years ago. It seems that shoppers may very well be opting for the convenience of some of the less aggravating shopping options. Let's face it; Black Friday is synonymous with crowds, lines, parking issues and admittedly, stress. With less chaotic and anxiety filled ways to shop so easily accessible, it's no wonder that consumers are quick to take advantage of them.

This year, Black Friday is on November 24 and Cyber Monday quickly follows on November 27. Happy Shopping from your friends at Halloween Express!