Black Friday is a term that dates back to the 60’s and falls on the Friday following Thanksgiving Day – Black Friday officially marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. This year Black Friday is on November 26 and many retailers will open extra early offering shoppers a chance at getting the best possible deals for a limited period.
Many establishments such as Macy’s, Sears, Toys R Us, Target and Walmart open as early as midnight on Black Friday offering door buster deals and loss leaders (items sold at cost price or even lower prices) to draw people to their stores. Though meant to offer people options for their Christmas shopping, many people grab the opportunity of the big discounts that are offered on Black Friday to buy items that they can resell later; most likely online and for a profit.
Black Friday is one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year in the US; so it is a positive thing for businesses. So then why is the pejorative term used for it? Black ink traditionally indicates positive amounts and red ink shows negative entries. So that association of profit with black is behind the term Black Friday. That and the fact that the poor employees have to work extra hard to battle the shopping hordes and extra long hours as well; so it is definitely a black day for them!
Of a more recent nascence is the term Cyber Monday, which falls on the Monday following Black Friday; a day that competes with if not outstrips sales recorded on Black Friday. The phenomenon of Cyber Monday was first noted in 2005, when 77 percent of online retailers said that their sales increased substantially last year on the Monday after Thanksgiving. It then became a trend that drove retailers to offer serious online discounts and promotions in years to come.
Shop.org was credited with the coining of the term Cyber Monday, and they urge people to make the most of cyber Monday and do the needful to attract those customers who didn’t have their fill of shopping the previous Friday. The people at shop.org urge retailers to participate in social media as well as make use of PR opportunities to give their business a fillip.
New York Times observed that Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work on Monday and buying what they liked.
So as shoppers, it would be a good idea to tune into the whole Cyber Monday phenomenon to see what deals and discounts you can get for yourself or get a head start on your Christmas shopping. Happy Retail Therapy All!