Most popular retail stores for the Christmas shopping season
The biggest shopping day of the year is almost here. Each holiday season, department stores across the country offer up sales between late October to after Christmas. Most of them offer fantastic deals with the most appealing deals available on Black Friday.
Ads, Deals and Thanksgiving Sales
- Bass Pro Shops
- Academy Sports
- Home Depot
- Lowe’s Home Improvement
- Best Buy
- Big Lots
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On what date does Black Friday fall this year?
In the United States, Black Friday falls on November 24, 2023 this year. Here is a countdown to the official kick off for the holiday Christmas shopping season.
Big box stores websites and other online retailers will also be offering great deals on Cyber Monday, which this year falls on November 27, 2023. Leading up to this day, a variety of different businesses from ecommerce to SAAS companies will provide online deals that many wait for the entire year with great anticipation.
What is Black Friday?
A colloquial term created by retailers, Many people believe that Black Friday, (the day after Thanksgiving), is the day that retailers used to make all of their profit for the year. This is not exactly correct.
It is the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and in that short amount of time, approximately one month, they would go from being in the Red (an accounting term) to being in the Black. Black Friday is just the kick off to this period of time and was definitely the day with the most revenue for the year.
Since many people usually get the day off after Thanksgiving, this was an optimal time for this shopping holiday.
While this event is very much a USA creation, other countries have adopted it as well. Most countries have some form or another, although their start dates can vary considering the United States aligns theirs with the official official holiday of Thanksgiving.
The change in retail over the years
The premise was that if you could get consumers into your store first, they would oftentimes spend a good amount of their Christmas shopping budget in your location.
Retail stores would provide tantalizing offers and even drum up PR by providing insane deals on a limited number of selected items. Even selling them at a sale price that was at a loss, so not only would the items be talked about endlessly, but they would even benefit from news coverage showcasing consumers willing to camp out the night before or in some cases days before to be among the first in line to make that purchase.
It was oftentimes a frenzy with the opening of the doors and consumers rushing in and running to get their hands on those sale items. This sometimes led to an injury or two and while this also produced publicity, it was not considered the type of attention brands were looking for.
Later on doorbuster deals were invented. The first 50 customers would receive the option to purchase. This more organized effort was put in place so that consumers that did wait in line the night before were given purchase tickets depending on their place in line. This provided more safety and was seen as fair to all. On the flip side, it took away much of the excitement and retailers needed a new way to invigorate their customers.
Open on Thanksgiving
Since Friday actually starts at 12:00 am, many stores thought “why not.” Sales starting at midnight become very popular and so so consumers went to bed early so they could be the firs to walk in and shop in the middle of the night.
Being first has always had an appeal to the public and so marketers decided instead of having people drive out to the stores at 11:00 pm to have access to all of those great deals, why not allow them to shop on Thanksgiving day.
Just like everything in the marketing world, it just takes one to do something and the next thing you know, everyone is doing it. This became the norm for many big box retailers and small businesses would sometimes follow suit.
This did have its controversy since many employees who once had enjoyed this holiday at home were now being brought in, usually reluctantly, to work on Thanksgiving. Family gatherings were also disrupted since people could not resist the deals.
Online shopping changed everything
As the internet became more prevalent and people developed a comfort with making purchases online, their became a realization in the market that people did not have to run out to stand in line in the cold or cut their holiday short.
Businesses saw an advantage to not having to pay employees, in some cases, triple time pay when they already had the infrastructure set up on their website to drive retail sales.
There were still die hard shoppers who had not embraced ecommerce and giving out their credit card over the internet and still wanted the thrill of finding the best deals and a willingness to make the trek to a brick and mortar store, but the shift definitely began to move to making purchases through online retailers.
Black Friday deals could still be available to the public but not all of the inconveniences that accompanied this established tradition.
Stores started announcing that they would now be closed for Thanksgiving and opening at reasonable times on Black Friday. But the internet providers were still a bit young a few years back and most high speed internet was not available to consumer homes but was available to businesses.
These same retailers began to see a trend that consumers who worked in offices usually had the entire four day, long weekend off and took advantage of their workplace high speed internet to allow them to surf the web for deals. And thus, Cyber Monday was born.
Cyber Monday became a thing
The excitement was back not only for consumers but big brands. Exclusive offers for Monday morning, discount codes flooded the websites and a shift occurred that made it convenient for shoppers and highly profitable for business.
At this point though, even cellular service provides the bandwidth needed for Christmas shoppers and while the nostalgia of Black Friday and Cyber Monday still exist, they are not dates that have nearly as much impact as they once did.
Because of this, stores are constantly trying to find ways to rekindle these marketing gimmicks. Early or Pre Black Friday sales are everywhere, spreading out deals over the few weeks before Thanksgiving. This in turn extends the shopping seasons from early November to Christmas eve. Though there is still a lot of hype around the official date of Black Friday, it does not affect the bottom line the way it used to.