Instead of enjoying turkey glazed with cranberry sauce or mashed potatoes drizzled with gravy, many Americans made it a priority to begin lining up at stores on Thanksgiving Day in hopes of landing those impressive deals offered by many retailers around the country.
However, for the first time, a completely ridiculous proposition was put forward: transforming Black Friday into Black Thursday.
Walmart and Target opened their doors as early as 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. While these companies were keen on increasing their profits, many store employees were not pleased with the idea of Black Thursday—and for good reason. No one in his right mind would want to spend their Thanksgiving Day greeting rude, obnoxious customers.
In reply to the outrage, Target employee Casey St. Clair started a Change.org petition that asked Target CEO Gregg W. Steinhafel to postpone the plans to open the stores Thanksgiving Day. Many other stores, including Sears, Walmart and Kohl’s also created petitions asking the companies to “give Thanksgiving back to families,” according to the Change.org petition.
A group of Walmart employees took their concerns a step further and struck on Black Friday. According to United Food and Commercial Workers Union, the strike was successful, recording 1,000 protests in 100 cities in 46 states; hundreds are still on strike.
Despite the fact that employees were upset, the weekend sales following Thanksgiving were still very impressive.
According to a BIGInsight survey conducted for the National Retail Federation, Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 22-25, produced more than $59 billion in estimated sales, up $6.6 billion from last year.
However, the survey also included the statistics regarding the newly popularized Cyber Monday, which falls on the Monday following Black Friday. It advertizes highly-discounted online products in an attempt to persuade people to shop online.
Maybe waiting in line on Thanksgiving Day was too much for shoppers to handle because this year online shopping was more popular than ever. The desire to spend Thanksgiving with family, along with the increasingly popular Internet, subsequently stole much of Black Friday’s profits.
According to BIGInsight, for the average shopper, 41 percent of his shopping was done online. A comScore survey reported that online sales on Thanksgiving Day were up 32 percent from last year to $633 million. Online sales on Black Friday were up 26 percent, now reaching $1.042 billion.
Cyber Monday, and the Internet, are stealing Black Friday’s thunder. Online sales were up throughout the weekend, and Black Friday’s in-store sales decreased by 1.8 percent from the previous year.
Black Friday, which has had its roots in American culture for decades, may soon become obsolete because of Cyber Monday.
Black Friday’s first reference was in a Philadelphia public relations newsletter in 1961. The name refers to the increased revenue due to the start of a bustling holiday season. Stores would be able to report their positive reports in black ink, instead of red, hence the name: Black Friday.
In the near future, Black Friday is going to become more of a novelty experience instead of a day to steal the best deals.
After all, why would anyone waste their Thanksgiving meal with family, or get up early the next morning, when the same deals are available from the comfort of their laptop?
Black Friday is becoming outdated.