Are Black Friday and Cyber Monday Over?

A Look Back
This seems unheard of, but in 2005 when newspapers were robust and the internet was still considered young, the main social media site was MySpace and newspaper publishers did not think e-commerce websites were as credible as brick-and-mortar retailers. This is precisely why Cyber Monday was created and launched on November 28, 2005 to spur online shopping. According to the New York Times, “The name 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 Monday (which they dial-up at home or did not have a computer at home) and buying what they liked.”

Are Black Friday and Cyber Monday Over? 
Black Friday sales have actually declined, the first since the recession of 2008. Sales for Black Friday totaled $816 million in 2012.

“Black Friday has reached unplanned obsolescence, and [on] Black Saturday and Sunday the stores get more and more deserted,” said Burt P. Flickinger, managing director at SRG Insight, a retail consulting firm. “By moving sales to Thursday, Black Friday loses its retail relevance.”

Given the early push of holiday sales by big box retailers, like Kohl’s, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Toy R Us, Staples and Best Buy, to move Black Friday to Thanksgiving Day could signal an end of Black Friday.

The First Black Thanksgiving Day
By moving sales one day early retailers are counting on a new Thanksgiving Day shopping tradition. That being said, for the tenth consecutive year ShopperTrak forecasts that Black Friday will be the busiest shopping day of the year, according to CNBC. The average shopper plans to spend about $737, which is 2 percent less than last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Big ticket items are being reserved for purchases of cars, housing, e-commerce appliances and home-improvement projects, says Citigroup.

Is Cyber Monday Going Away?
Cyber Monday debuted November 28, 2005, to persuade consumers to buy online. A percentage of shoppers dislike the Black Friday frenzy, or have little time to wait in long lines, and choose to do their Christmas shopping online. An American Express survey discovered for the first time more shoppers plan to shop Cyber Monday than offline.

The National Retail Federation expects a 3.9 percent increase in holiday sales, up from 3.5 percent in 2012. Either way, it should be a happy holiday for retailers.


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