Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Have Internet Black Monday and Thanksgiving Sales Hurt Black Friday?

Black Friday used to be the big day of the holiday shopping season, and it still is.  Named for the concept that huge sales on the day after Thanksgiving could put a store into the black for the holiday season, Black Friday was traditionally more of an event than just another busy day at the mall.

But now that e-sales has taken off, and stores have jumped the gun on Black Friday so much that it starts the afternoon or evening before (shortly after the family finishes the pumpkin pie and coffee of their grand Thanksgiving holiday spread), the concept of Black Friday has taken a beating. Far from being the only big sale event of the holiday shopping season, it is now just the highest profile of many shopping occasions that stretch from October till the end of the year sales that bleed into the new year.

Hunter Communications Original News Source: 
USA Today

Link to article:

Excerpt: "Macy's, J.C. Penney and Kohl's are the latest retailers to hop on the Thanksgiving bandwagon to stay competitive in an increasingly promotional retail landscape. E-commerce deals are starting earlier, too, with Wal-Mart Stores kicking off its online promotions Friday, a month earlier than usual.

Black Friday, which in the past has kicked off the holiday shopping season, got its name for being the day retailers hope will turn them from unprofitable (in the red) to profitable (in the black).

'Black Friday has reached unplanned obsolescence, and (on) Black Saturday and Sunday the stores get more and more deserted,' said Burt P. Flickinger, managing director at SRG Insight, a retail consulting firm. 'By moving sales to Thursday, Black Friday loses its retail relevance.'

The creep from Friday to Thursday began in 2010, when Sears opened on Thanksgiving. Wal-Mart moved Black Friday to the holiday in 2011, and Target followed last year.

As this trend amplifies, Black Friday is quickly becoming 'a relic of years gone by,' said Brian Sozzi, CEO and chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors.

The transition also pressures retailers to have stores open and generating sales in an increasingly competitive market, he added.

'That's why I think you're going to see more retailers announce they'll be open,' Sozzi said. 'You have to capture the traffic in the mall because you don't know when it will return. It's a cascading effect.'

Cyber Monday—increasingly popular with time-pressed, crowd-wary shoppers—is also squeezing Black Friday. For the first time, an American Express survey found that more shoppers plan to participate in the former than the latter.

Bill Martin, founder and executive vice president of ShopperTrak, said that the 'lines are beginning to blur' for the holiday season.

'We're seeing more and more promotions earlier in November out of fear of the consumer's running out of money,' he said. 'They're trying to get to that wallet as soon as possible.'"

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