Are you ready for ‘Black Friday’?

Whether you are ready or not for the big shopping spree on Friday, Nov. 24, it is just around the corner. Black Friday, as it has been called, since the early 1950s is the Friday after Thanksgiving Day and has been, generally speaking, regarded as the beginning of the Christmas holiday shopping season.

It has been deemed by most retailers since 2005 as the most important shopping day of the year. Many retailers have traditionally operated at a financial loss for the greater part of the year and don’t get into a profit picture until Black Friday! In the earlier years of this shopping phenomenon promotions traditionally started at midnight on Thanksgiving evening and in several cases in the wee early hours of the Friday after Thanksgiving with many early shoppers “camping out” on the store perimeter waiting to be first to get the “door buster deals.”

Oh yes, there was tons of emotion, hot tempers, pushing and shoving to get into line for store openings. In 2014 total spending volume declined for the first time since the 2008 recession, recording a total sales volume of $50.9 billion that was spent by consumers during the Black Friday weekend which represented a 11 percent decline from the previous year. A term called “Christmas Creep” has entered the picture in the past few years, meaning retailers have now begun to “pull ahead” their retail sales promotions over the entire months of November and December and in some cases have initiated them in late September versus concentrating on only one shopping day.

Over time we would have to say that Black Friday has served major retailers very well — but things are changing a bit in terms of consumer’s buying habits for the holiday season. More recently we have become accustomed to the term “Cyber Monday”, the Monday after Black Friday weekend when many consumer go online to make their holiday purchases. The term was first recognized in 2005 by the National Retail Federation, the organization that tracks, records and reports all retail sales figures.

Sales on Cyber Monday continue to increase year over year. In 2013 a record $1.73 billion sales were recorded online, and continues to grow year over year.

Black Friday is still with us, but may be losing some of its steam. However many great deals are already posted by major retailers. Take a look!

George Cook