It’s as much a tradition as turkey and the trimmings.
The annual quest for bargains on Black Friday.
But a Purdue University professor retail professor says it’s not what it used to be.
‘Door buster sales aren’t just for the Friday after Thanksgiving,’ contends Richard Feinberg. ‘They’re for any Friday in October now’.
Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving—has been traditionally promoted as the day that officially kicks off the holiday shopping season. The name dates back to the 1970’s; and refers to a push in sales from then to the end of the year to put retailers into the 'black' or to boost their bottom line.
But retailers no longer wait until then to start promoting holiday sales. Already Christmas decor is showing up in brick and mortar stores; and online retailers are beginning to push free shipping deals.
One reason for early promotions this year is a late Thanksgiving. There are only 25 shopping days between then and Christmas. Last year there were 32.
But Feinberg warns that heavy and early holiday promotion can backfire on retailers. ‘As consumers are bombarded with more promotions, it is getting more difficult to get them excited about sales’.
Another reason retailers start early, is the increasingly competitive environment.
Despite the early deals, just like turkey and the trimmings, there are those consumers who are still fans of the tradition. It’s a sporting event in its own right. Consumers love the competition and getting home to relive their battle stories and the deals they found.
While Black Friday is no longer the busiest shopping day of the year, it is in the top 10. For retailers, Black Friday sales mean money in the bank; and the hope is it will convince shoppers to come back in the weeks leading up to Christmas.