Has ‘Black Friday’ Become All Season?

“Black Friday” used to be the one time of year when retailers brought out their biggest guns, their wildest specials, their craziest discounts. But over the past decade or so, shopping on the day after Thanksgiving has turned into a national sport.

Then the online sellers invented “Cyber Monday,” when they rolled out their big guns. That soon turned into “Cyber Week.”

And now, we are seeing a weird phenomenon, where Black Friday lasts all holiday season:

In the wake of this year’s Black Friday shopping frenzy, some were asking how retailers were going to maintain the momentum throughout the holiday shopping season. We now have the answer: Let’s make it Black Friday everyday! …

As we head through the rest of the holiday season, the next most important days are all the December Saturdays, and the last 10 days before Christmas, as well as Dec. 19 and Dec. 12 for online retailers. Expect retailers to pull out all the stops for each of these days. 

Consider this a natural reaction to Black Friday mania. Shoppers likely figure, “If you have a sale on Black Friday, why not have it every day?” After all, we are living in an environment where we can get a 50 percent off deal from Groupon every day of the week. And, in fact, the discount culture has become so ingrained, some shoppers are growing blasé about it all: 

Americans have become so used to deep discounts in the weak economy that they expect each sale to be bigger and better than the last. That means retailers will likely have to keep slashing prices, which could hurt their bottom line.

“I think they’re going to have to continue to do the kind of ‘come on’ pricing that you saw on Black Friday,” or the day after Thanksgiving, says Alison Paul, head of consulting firm Deloitte’s U.S. retail practice … 

When will it all end? At some point, stores are going to have to find ways to make their offerings so compelling, so attractive to consumers, that they don’t need to discount. Either that, or a year’s worth of Black Fridays may just put some of them in the red.

JCK News Director