Black Friday is an important holiday for retailers who see huge numbers of consumers shopping for the holiday season. It has long been held as the ultimate annual shopping holiday, but Cyber Monday has quickly been picking up speed and pulling in equally large amounts of sales.
Cyber Monday was officially termed in 2005 by the National Retail Federation after 77% of online retailers reported a surge in spending on the Monday after Thanksgiving. In 2010, sales surpassed $1 billion for the first time and Cyber Monday total spending continues to rise. With the rise of Cyber Monday, what does the future hold for Black Friday?
The Argument Against Black Friday
In recent years, Black Friday has seen numerous violent incidents such as shootings and stabbings. Shoppers prefer staying home to avoid the crowds and potential violence that comes with Black Friday. Kyle James, the owner of Rather-Be-Shopping.com, notes that consumers realize that unless you’re camping out the night before, you don’t really stand a chance at getting the limited door-buster deals.
JeanWalker, Co-founder & CCO of The Regear Group, LLC, makes a bold statement in saying that Black Friday may be nearing extinction and that it is becoming much more common for retailers to begin their online sales on Thanksgiving Thursday. Regardless of the day, whether it’s a Thursday, Friday or Monday, smart shoppers will do the majority of their shopping online.
Paul Moyer founder of SavingFreak.com, agrees with what the others have said in that Black Friday is morphing into a week-long event that starts on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and ends on Cyber Monday. Traditional brick and mortar stores are putting their deals online during Thanksgiving and Black Friday and then running a different set of deals online for Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday deals also tend to be kept under wraps and are more anticipated than Black Friday sales. George Gracin, Marketing Associate for neoRhino IT Solutions, thinks that stores may decide to shift their holiday sales online and to focus solely on Cyber Monday deals in a bid to save on labor and overhead costs.
The Argument for Black Friday
Despite the arguments made against Black Friday, some still think it will continue for many years to come. Patrick Springer, founder of MasonDixonClothing.co, believes the holiday is far from dead and that it is more alive than ever. He believes that spending time with family as they go from store to store is part of the excitement. He makes the case that although sales have gone down, mobile sales are on the rise which may result in new customers being targeted in the future.
Furthermore, although certain groups such as millennials prefer to shop during the holiday week as opposed to one specific day, 32% of Hispanics and African Americans stated that they are likely to shop in-store on Black Friday.
What Does This All Mean For Shoppers?
As you can see, the general consensus is that Black Friday is a thing of the past with online shopping growing in popularity. Even companies such as Staples and REI have turned their back on Black Friday by announcing that they will be closed for the day, causing delight amongst their employees and reaffirming their family oriented values.
Online sales are increasing every year and show no signs of slowing down, which could signal a move away from Black Friday and a greater emphasis for retailers on Cyber Monday. Despite the slow decline of Black Friday, holiday shopping will continue – whether it is under the guise of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or even Singles Day, which was brought to the US by Dealmoon and more than doubled Cyber Monday’s $2.65 billion sales record. The future of Black Friday will ultimately depend upon the next generation of shoppers and their preferences, who have made clear their affinity for new technology.