Is Black Friday still relevant?

Thanksgiving is America’s family Holiday. There’s nothing like it. Employers give a four-day weekend for you to bond and connect with family. It’s a holiday centered on giving thanks and appreciating everything in life. The entire family gathers for a huge thanksgiving feast. But after that last slice of Grandmas famous pie, and dinner is complete… The following day is called Black Friday. Whether you’ve participated in Black Friday or not, you’ve definitely noticed the madness surrounding it.

Black Friday gets its name from the notion that it’s a day for retailers to go profitable. Strategically, the day is 1 month before Christmas, which make ideal for Christmas gift shopping. In theory, everyone who needs to make a purchase – does so on Black Friday. 10 years ago, it was the defining day where retailers turn around the year – If you were operating in the negative (red), you had the chance to turn a profit (black). However, that’s no longer the case. Although it’s still considered the busiest shopping day of the year, it’s been on a slow decline since 2012. Part of the reason is online retailers offering better deals and convenience, it’s become harder for brick-and-mortar stores to compete. Advances in Technology has made it easy for the average consumer to price check and see if they’re really getting a good deal.  According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), in 2015, over 100 million Americans said they intended on shopping on Black Friday.
Even with that many shoppers, is Black Friday soon to be a thing of the past?

We’re all familiar with it. The evening news shows progress on Thanksgiving Day Parade floats, and then cuts to the latest black Friday deal that’s been ‘leaked’. It’s supposed to be a door buster type deal that brings in tons of sales for retailers. Maybe they’ll show eager customers camping outside the store, one week before BF. But how reliable is this picture? Especially since 2012, Every Black Friday sales projection has fallen short, causing retailers to struggle as they try to find their foothold in the market.

Where’s the money gone?

The money has shifted to online retailers due to the wide spread adoption of E-commerce. We’ve all experienced it – The convenience of purchasing things online. You don’t even have to change out of your pajamas to make purchases. So many customers flock to the convenience of having things delivered right to your home. It’s this convenience that’s combined with the larger selection of products online have made it hard to beat companies like Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and others. Another big factor is that customers are better able to price shop from their computers. According to the NRF, 82% of customers said that they’re looking for deals on Black Friday. Unfortunately for brick-and-mortar stores, 54% Also acknowledged that a majority of better deals are found online. Cyber Monday was created to work with Black Friday, but has quickly started to take off into it’s own sales holiday.  In 2015, Online Retailers had just 3 billion in sales but quickly catching up to brick and mortar retailers. This 2016, Experts estimate Black Friday sales to exceed the 5 billion mark.

What does this mean for Black Friday in the future?

Black Friday is still lucrative enough to continue, however soon it will be eclipsed by cyber Monday sales. According to The Balance –  After the recession, there was a change toward thrifting. Translation?  It means that consumers have tightened down on their wallets and checkbooks. They’ve have gotten smarter and thriftier, looking for the best value in their purchases. But Since Retailers rely so heavily on this day, we’ve noticed an increase of stores that are open Thanksgiving day. This move has sparked outrage and debate from worker’s unions and activist everywhere. The backlash hasn’t proven enough to stop big national retailers like Walmart, Macys and Target. These major retailers are too big to feel the backlash. But only time will tell if this trend continues.

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