Last year, several retailers made news by opening up for Black Friday on Thanksgiving, a move criticized by many, but this year, major retailers like Wal-Mart, Amazon, Target, and others have begun offering deals as early as November 1, and it looks like Black Friday is becoming a month-long sale. Different retailers are taking different approaches to this year’s holiday season, but nearly all of them are kicking things off even earlier than usual.
Online retailer, Amazon, kicked off their holiday deals on Nov. 1. The company’s “deal of the day” will consist of multiple sale-items all through Dec. 22. Amazon’s “Countdown to Black Friday” will also feature several deals that will run weeks at a time. Amazon Prime member should also expect early access to some deals as well as exclusive access to others.
Retail outlet, Wal-Mart, has already dropped the price on over 20,000 items, and on November 3 is offering “cyber-deals” available only on their website. The company will also offer free shipping on its 100 most popular items; although, any purchase over $50 qualifies for free shipping.
Office Depot and OfficeMax, which have recently become one company, are also taking part in the beginning-of-the-month deals. They have also announced they will be offering “Cyber Monday” deals every Monday in November leading up to Black Friday (Cyber Monday being the Monday following Black Friday, which falls on Dec. 1 this year).
Department store, Sears, has yet to announce any specific deals leading up to Black Friday. However, the company has hinted at deals expected to run Nov. 8-11. Members of Sears’ Family and Friends club can also expect to see more sales than usual.
Electronics retailer, Best Buy, is one of few major chains not to announce any specific deals or when to expect them. Conversely, the company has announced, that for the second year in a row, they will be opening for Black Friday starting Thanksgiving at 6 p.m., much to the chagrin of its employees. Additionally, if Best Buy is going to follow its holiday sales plan from last year, expect to see certain deals available in the weeks prior to the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
Ever since its inception as the biggest shopping day of the year, consumers have witnessed Black Friday slowly morph into more than just a single day of shopping. Stores initially began opening around six in the morning, but shoppers have witnessed that hour slowly creep its way towards midnight, and even more recently have seen it envelope the last quarter of Thanksgiving. With company’s newest plans for this holiday season, expect to see these kinds of changes more frequently.
Black Friday likely conjures up mixed reactions from people. For some it’s the day of the year they get most of their Christmas shopping done. Some recall fondly the great deal they got on a 40-inch television, whereas those who have worked retail, see it as the worst shift of the year. Regardless, Black Friday, or what is quickly becoming Black November will not be going away anytime soon.
By Ernest Richmond