After a long day of cooking, feasting, and saying thanks, one would expect the next day to be one of rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, this is not true for most Americans. For many of us, the day after Thanksgiving is the day to go out and get that big screen TV we have been waiting for or to get those pairs of shoes that we have had our eye on. So ‘important’ has the day after Thanksgiving been, we as consumers have given it the name “Black Friday.”
“Black Friday” starts with tents, long lines, and consumers with there “Black Friday” ads in hand. Whether it be the special deal “doorbuster” or the extra 40% off that retail stores offer, consumers are willing to put up with the lack of sleep as well as the lack of respect they receive from there fellow consumers.
As I started my “Black Friday” run today, I had many places that I wanted to check out. Among them were Best Buy, Circuit City, and of course the local mall. As I went from store to store I noticed a trend. In each of the stores I went too, while there was still a large number of consumers, the number of them holding items was amazingly small. I didn’t see consumers with baskets full of DVD’s or with armfuls of clothes. If I could describe the average consumer on “Black Friday” I would use the word cautious. Consumers went for items they ‘needed’ or had been strongly considering for a while.
This change in consumer spending can be attributed to a number of things. One reasoning is that no longer is “Black Friday” only on Friday. Most stores now start there sales a couple of days before or even the week before running all the way into the weekend. Consumers no longer have to fight Friday morning but can now shop around for a couple days, finding the best deal. Another reason is that most stores such as Best Buy, Circuit City, Amazon, & Walmart offer online sales that offer the same items that are considered “doorbuster’s” and also in some cases, deals that are better than in the stores.
While the forementioned changes to “Black Friday” all have an affect on the way consumers approach “Black Friday”, consumer spending and confidence in businesses have been one of the key factors. Consumers unwilling to spend money on un-neccesary products has led to a record slump in consumer spending which have led to chains such as Circuit City into bankruptcy.
With “Black Friday” turning into a week long affair in some cases, why do we continue to call it “Black Friday?”
While “Black Friday” has traditionally meant the start of the holiday shopping season, consumer trends in spending during this “Black Friday” may be the signal for retailers to start worrying that perhaps “Black Friday” may just be “Regular Friday”