Holidays encourage retail spending

As the holiday season quickly approaches, stores around the country are placing bright red signs at the front of their shops, reminding people to get started on their holiday shopping.

One of the many retailers participating in Black Friday, Target, will offer sales on several products. Shoppers may find deals on apparel, entertainment, electronics and beauty. (Photo from Flickr)

The day after Thanksgiving, popularized as Black Friday, is a day in which many shops offer discounted merchandise. Major sales on electronics, apparel, entertainment and beauty appear in various stores.

The term ‘Black Friday’ comes from the phrase “went into the black,” meaning a company earned a profit, according to a 2016 article from huffingtonpost.com. Companies have prepared for the day by offering deals on their products and opening their businesses at the crack of dawn.

Many businesses participate in Black Friday; according to blackfriday.com, some of the more popular retailers include Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Macy’s, American Eagle, Samsung and Dell. Additional companies participating in the annual tradition are Sephora, Old Navy, Kohl’s and Verizon, just to name a few.

A common practice of companies is to bundle particular products together for a greater value deal. For example, at Ulta Beauty and Sephora, some make-up brands will include packaged merchandise at discounted prices. Electronic and apparel companies will often employ a similar tactic as well.

More recently, stores have even opted to open Thanksgiving evening, for those who may not celebrate the holiday or who end their festivities early. Annually, the weekend of Thanksgiving triumphs as the biggest weekend of shopping, according to a 2016 article from the National Retail Federation.

However, due to the drastic discounts, Black Friday has a history of violence. An article from the New York Daily News notes that there have been fights, injuries, shootings and even stampede deaths as a result of frenzied shoppers trying to snag the best deals.

CYBER MONDAY AND SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

As the world increasingly operates through technology, online shopping has become appealing to many. Thus, in 2005, the marketing team at Shop.org, a sector of the National Retail Federation, sought a way to hook online retailers with the same standards as Black Friday, according to Jessika Toothman in an article from money.howstuffworks.com.

Since then, the Monday after Thanksgiving has been coined Cyber Monday.

According to a 2016 article from reuters.com, “On Cyber Monday, online sales reached an all-time high of $3.39 billion, a 10% increase over the day in 2015 and only slightly higher than e-retail purchases on Black Friday 2016 ($3.34 billion).”

As online shopping becomes more prominent, stores are increasingly offering deals on their websites, particularly during Thanksgiving weekend, when the sales on Cyber Monday compete with the sales on Black Friday.

In addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday takes place on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. American Express founded Small Business Saturday, which has been commemorated annually since 2010, according to its website. The American Express website states that the day of shopping “helps to support local economies and promote vibrant, diverse communities.”

Small Business Saturday is a way for smaller companies to branch out and entice shoppers by offering deals to foster relationships and further develop communities.

The extended weekend of Thanksgiving provides several opportunities for shoppers with various preferences. With deals around every corner, it wouldn’t hurt to make a list and check it twice.

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