The Remarkable Evolution of Black Friday

Although the term first originated in the 1960s, it wasn’t until 2005 that Black Friday consistently became the busiest shopping day of the year. It’s nearly impossible to turn on your television on Thanksgiving Day without finding multiple news reports about shoppers camping out in the cold, in an attempt to be first-in-line for upcoming sales. A few explanations for this might be that it’s the official start of the countdown to the Christmas holiday. Many shoppers with long gift lists likely chose that day originally, just to get a head start on holiday shopping.

Furthermore, employers often give their employees the day after Thanksgiving off from work, which significantly increases the potential number of shoppers for that day. Once the holiday took off, retailers like Sears, Aeropostale, and Kmart began their holiday sales as early as Thanksgiving morning. The popular retail store Forever21 also took an unconventional approach to the holiday by beginning its sales on Friday and running into 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning. With the recent popularity of online shopping, the Black Friday holiday has extended even further for companies all across the globe.

Last year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that 212 million individuals participated in the Black Friday shopping extravaganza, spending an estimated $45 billion, or $365 per person. This figure rose 6% compared with that of 2009. The increasing popularity and availability of online shopping can take some of the credit for these rising statistics, since an NRF study revealed that 33.6% of consumers reported to shop online on Black Friday in 2010. The NRF has taken into account a survey of opinions to determine the outcome of Black Friday for 2011. It is predicted that sales for the holiday season will rise into the low single digits; however, Internet-based sales, as opposed to in-store sales, are expected to take “a bigger share of the total retailing pie.”

The growth in online shopping popularity is likely attributed to modern advances in technology, which makes online shopping more accessible than ever for consumers. Shoppers can purchase items right from their tablets and mobile devices, and ensure the lowest price through the use of multiple Black Friday-specific apps. Since the shopper has the advantage of comparing prices right from their mobile devices in the store, retailers are offering especially competitive prices this year to ensure a successful sales holiday.

Black Friday cameras, as usual, will likely experience hot sales, with the promotion of a few amazing deals on popular Sony and Canon brand cameras. Look for deals posted on the companies’ Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. Deals like these are commonplace on Black Friday this year, and with the introduction of tablets and mobile apps, shoppers can verify that the discounted price truly is a steal.

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