Black Friday is the day when US consumers shop for more money than any other day of the year. Until 2010, Black Friday used to be an American phenomenon, but with the help of Amazon it is now spreading to more and more retailers across the world.
Amazon was the first to introduce Black Friday to the European Market in 2010. Since then, it has spread across the continent. According a report from AdoDigital Insights (ADI), Black Friday in Europe has grown 124 percent over the past four years. Holiday spending as a whole in Europe will grow 10 percent in 2016.
In Asia, Black Friday has competition from Singles’ Day that occurs on November 11th. This year, the total sales on Singles’ day was $17.8 billion USD. This means that the potential is huge for global retailers and are working hard to launch Black Friday discounts there too.
But the Black Friday concept is still bigger in the US than in any other country. In 2015 the number of consumers that shopped on Black Friday were 133,700,000. Together they spent $67,560,000,000 in stores and $2,932,000,000 online. Not so surprising perhaps, considering that Black Friday originated in the US. Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving falling anywhere between November 23 and 29. Even though it is not an official holiday many Americans choose to take the day off to not miss out on any retailers’ offers.
The term Black Friday
The term “black” comes from moving results from red to black, referring to when accounting records were made by hand and red ink would indicate a loss and black a profit. Since the 1920’s, retailers in the US have seen the profit go up on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This is partly attributed to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, started in 1924 in New York, that attracted scores of people and also became the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Retailers quickly realised that Black Friday can in fact attract more customers than last minute Christmas sales. Many retailers open their stores at 5 a.m. to welcome huge crowds cueing outside.
Electronics and toys have traditionally been the products with the largest discount. However, retailers in other areas are recognising the opportunity of having discounted prices on one particular day, timing it to when people start thinking about Christmas.
Black Friday vs Cyber Monday
With the growth of e-commerce, Black Friday has moved to cyberspace. For consumers, the benefit is to have more control and run less risk of an advertised item being out of stock. However, many retailers make sure to keep some offers off-line, making sure to get that foot traffic in the store.
The online version of Black Friday is called Cyber Monday and has been around since 2005. The deals on Cyber Monday are online-only and the discounts are typically available at smaller retailers. Black Friday discounts are generally for technology, whereas Cyber Monday has a bigger focus on fashion retail.
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