Black Friday remains relevant in 2019

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Amanda Salazar

This past November, Black Friday and other sale days were being promoted through almost every store’s email, social media posts and website.

Black Friday, traditionally the day after Thanksgiving, was originally a day where stores would hold sales to entice customers to come in and kick-start their holiday shopping. 

It’s been known as a day where shoppers stand in long lines and fight over items, while the stores make large numbers of sales.However, Black Friday has been a little different in recent years.

With the growth of online retail shopping, new consumer holidays such as Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving when many retailers slash their prices online, have been created.

There is also Amazon Prime Day, when Amazon offers a number of deals on its most popular products, and Small Business Saturday, a day that encourages consumers to shop at their local stores instead of large retailers.

Additionally, Black Friday sales have expanded well beyond just that particular Friday. Some sales start as early as the week before Thanksgiving and yet are still marketed as Black Friday deals. 

Some sales start on Thanksgiving Day, a practice that has resulted in public outcry for forcing employees to work on Thanksgiving, a holiday that most retail workers traditionally have off. 

Despite this, record numbers of consumers have elected to go shopping on Thanksgiving, undermining the public’s dismay.

In general, holiday shopping sales continue well into December and even sometimes past Christmas itself. Add onto that, sales pop up year-round in American stores, putting into question the purpose of having a “Black Friday” at all.

The holiday — whose name originated in 1896 when “two investors started a run on gold, which led to a crash, which led to dark days,” according to a The New York Times article — has become a sale in a sea of holiday and non-holiday sales, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

It can be a bit difficult to determine exactly how much money was spent on Black Friday shopping because the sales are so spread out over the preceding days and even afterwards, but Americans are very much spending during this time, contributing to economic growth and, if they’re shopping locally, bringing in revenue for small businesses.

“Holiday retail sales in November and December will be up between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent over 2018 for a total of between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion,” the New York Times article says. The numbers for this year aren’t looking bad either.

According to an article from BlackFriday.com, the average shopper will be spending around $656 on their holiday shopping this year, which is 5% higher than last year.

Maybe the shopping habits have changed, but the fact of the matter is that Black Friday deals are still relevant, regardless of whether they are online, in stores or even on a different day.