Black Friday and the Business of Thanksgiving
By: Destiny Mouawad & Braden Gerow, Staff Reporters, The Pawprint
Thanksgiving, an American holiday in which families across the country look forward to as they all gather together and share gratitude for one another as well as what they are most thankful for, whether that be a family member or the abundance of food on the table. However, shortly after everyone has indulged in a rich meal all together, it is custom for large and popular companies such as Best Buy, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Walmart, J.C. Penny, Target and Macy’s have large discounts on highly sought after items such as televisions, watches or kitchenware appliances to prepare for what is considered “…the busiest shopping day…”. This midnight phenomenon, which happens the day after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday ” and indicates the beginning of the holiday and Christmas shopping season, usually a tactic to keep up with the competition from the plethora of stores trying to attract the most customers. The term “Black Friday” was coined from an old practice of bookkeeping where companies would list their profits and losses, red for losses and black for profits. Therefore businesses adopted the idea that reducing their prices on a given day would ensure them accumulating enough money in sales and therefore profitable throughout the rest of the year.
“According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), an estimated 186.4 million consumers in the U.S. shopped, consumers rush and scramble into stores in order to reap the massive deals of upwards to 50% in electronic stores such as Best Buy.
Black Friday deals tend to run through the beginning of November and December, therefore the savings may fluctuate slightly as deals will be highest on the actual day of Black Friday. The start of November and build up to Black Friday will typically have a discount of about 20%, while come the day after Thanksgiving discounts are all roughly 35% of not higher.
It was notably reported that Generation Xers would spend an average of $1364 on the night, Baby Boomers would spend an average of $982 and Millennials would spend an average of $357 on various goods such as cosmetics, electronics and travel.
While individuals all across the United States await for this night and get excited about buying new gadgets or gifts for loved ones, analysts regard this night as a means to better understand the nature or “…health of the entire retail industry…” others see it to only show short term gains or losses.
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