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Businesses The Almighty Buck

'Black Friday Is Dying' (fastcompany.com) 290

A reader shares a report: For years, Black Friday signaled the beginning of Christmas shopping. The day after Thanksgiving was a frantic day of driving to the store at the crack of dawn to fight off other shoppers for great deals. For people who truly hated the ritual, I have some good news for you: Black Friday is going away. That's according to data from GPShopper, which tracks consumer behavior. It turns out, customers are really not into Black Friday. A full 81% of us feel stress surrounding the notion of Black Friday, and 45% of us believe it is the most stressful time of the year. And with online shopping, consumers are increasingly realizing they don't need to do all their shopping on one day. The majority would prefer to shop in the second week of December. Weirdly, a full 12% of consumers would prefer to shop after Christmas, to capitalize on the post-holiday sales, even though their recipients would get their presents a little late.
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'Black Friday Is Dying'

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  • by jabberw0k ( 62554 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:44AM (#55554003) Homepage Journal
    on January 6. Problem solved.
    • Some christian cultures, celibate Christmas on January 6th, as it is traditionally considered the Epiphany (the time where the 3 Magi had offered the gifts of Gold, Incense and Muir) so the aspect of sharing gifts during this time seems more appropriate.

      • >celibate Christmas

        Admittedly it's mostly a cheery-but-sombre holiday and usually focused on the kids... but if it's going celibate I'm not going to observe Christmas any longer!

      • (the time where the 3 Magi had offered the gifts of Gold, Incense and Muir)

        The scripture does not specify a number of Magi, it only specifies a number of gifts. It is implied that there were more than one, but how many more is not stated. Could one Magi have brought multiple gifts? Could multiple Magi have brought the same gift?

        • by TWX ( 665546 )

          Maybe they pooled resources and several kicked-in money to buy one gift.

        • (the time where the 3 Magi had offered the gifts of Gold, Incense and Muir)

          The scripture does not specify a number of Magi, it only specifies a number of gifts. It is implied that there were more than one, but how many more is not stated. Could one Magi have brought multiple gifts? Could multiple Magi have brought the same gift?

          There are 3 in the nativity, it has to be true. It's right there in the Town Square!

          • (the time where the 3 Magi had offered the gifts of Gold, Incense and Muir)

            The scripture does not specify a number of Magi, it only specifies a number of gifts. It is implied that there were more than one, but how many more is not stated. Could one Magi have brought multiple gifts? Could multiple Magi have brought the same gift?

            There are 3 in the nativity, it has to be true. It's right there in the Town Square!

            Someone should ask Santa, he was there. On December 24th of the year 1, he delivered the baby Jesus. Then they rode away on the back of a dinosaur I'm told.

      • Some christian cultures, celibate Christmas on January 6th

        It's mostly Armenians. I thought it was all Orthodox Christians that celebrated it on that day due to sticking with the Julian instead of Gregorian calendar. It turns out Dec. 25 on the Julian Calendar is Jan. 7, and it's only Copts & Ethiopian Orothodox that celebrate it on that day. Most other Orthodox churches have moved to the Gregorian calendar and celebrate on Dec. 25 now.

        • Russian Orthodox as well.

          I always thought there were advantages to living in a multi cultural environment - Regular Christmas, Russian / Eastern Orthodox Christmas, Hanukah, Solstice and probably a couple of others.

          Be sure and collect them all!

          • Honestly, the only reason Chanukah is such a big deal for Jews is that Christmas is around the same time and Jewish kids wanted to get presents also. So the "8 days of presents" was invented. You're not really supposed to give gifts on Chanukah. Actually, our gift giving holiday is Purim (around March) where we dress in costumes, give gifts, and are religiously commanded to get drunk.

            • (around March) where we dress in costumes....and are religiously commanded to get drunk.

              I thought that was an Irish Catholic holiday.

            • Actually, our gift giving holiday is Purim (around March) where we dress in costumes, give gifts, and are religiously commanded to get drunk.

              I didn't know about this but I'm going to start doing this with my girlfriend. We can take the day off, get drunk, and exchange little gifts. March needs a holiday badly and I love drinking.

            • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

              Actually, our gift giving holiday is Purim (around March) where we dress in costumes, give gifts, and are religiously commanded to get drunk.

              Sounds like being Jewish is more fun. So can just anyone sign up?

              • In all seriousness, when it comes to conversion, Judaism is the exact opposite of evangelical Christianity. Where evangelicals will go out and try to convert all non-believers, Jews push potential converts away. (This comes from the story of Ruth where Naomi was heading back to Israel after the death of her sons. Her non-Israelite daughters-in-law wanted to come but she refused three times. One daughter-in-law returned to her parents, but Ruth persisted and stayed with Naomi.) We will turn potential convert

                • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

                  Not sure I'm ready for that much commitment. I think I'll just get drunk that day and call it good.

                  On another note, I just picked up the 3 books of yours I could find on Amazon. Look forward to reading them. From the plot summery they look interesting.

        • Some christian cultures, celibate Christmas on January 6th

          It's mostly Armenians. I thought it was all Orthodox Christians that celebrated it on that day due to sticking with the Julian instead of Gregorian calendar. It turns out Dec. 25 on the Julian Calendar is Jan. 7, and it's only Copts & Ethiopian Orothodox that celebrate it on that day. Most other Orthodox churches have moved to the Gregorian calendar and celebrate on Dec. 25 now.

          In Spain they celebrate Christmas on the 25th and Epiphany on the 6th, the latter being the more important date, it seems. Epiphany is also celebrated in Austria, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, Ethiopia (but on different date that varies annually), parts of Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, and Uruguay with national holidays.

          Other countries actually celebrate Christmas itself on Jan. 7th (sometimes starting on Jan 6th with Christmas Eve), and Epiphany (if they celebrate it) 12 days later, on J

    • Just don't make me participate in the feats of strength or the airing of grievances.
    • by haruchai ( 17472 )

      on January 6. Problem solved.

      I have very close Ukrainian friends with whom I've spent Xmas several times which is on Jan 7th. So anything I buy for them is at a discount.

  • by mcmonkey ( 96054 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:45AM (#55554009) Homepage

    SSIA.

  • Not a very good poll (Score:5, Informative)

    by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:45AM (#55554011)
    Black Friday was never a majority event. It was always a dedicated minority who were either looking for great deals or just had nothing better to do that day. I think most people always hated it. Online shopping just gave them another way to shop, instead of just avoiding the mall that day.
    • Black Friday was never a majority event.

      It always seemed like some kind of marketing gimmick that someone invented. As far as I can remember, it wasn't really a thing when I was a kid.

      I mean, the day existed. It's not like after Thanksgiving Thursday went straight to Saturday. People sometimes referred to it as "Black Friday", but it was more of a bit of trivia that some people were aware of. A lot of people happened to spend the day after Thanksgiving doing their Christmas shopping, since, for a lot of people, it was going to be their last

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The one and only time I stood in a Black Friday sale line was in 1998. Zelda:OOT had been released on Tuesday for pre-orders, but wasn't available to walk-ins until Friday. The local Target store had 17 copies in stock. I showed up at 6:00 AM for a store-opening of 7:00 AM. There were maybe a dozen people in line, and I took my place. Everyone else was hyped up about winning a car or something. The first 25 people would get a key that might (but probably wouldn't) start that car! By the time the doors opene

        • I went once...we were spending Turkey Day with family in Vegas, and since we don't have Fry's at home I decided to hit the one there.

          It was out at the far end of the Strip, past the airport, and they were using the desert as overflow parking. There was a line to get INTO the store...noped out of there in a heartbeat.

      • by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @11:11AM (#55554743)

        You are off by decades. The term 'black Friday' was used starting in the 60s. It was used not by the retailers, but the police, who used it to describe the incredible traffic jams and crowds that occurred on that day. The day after Thanksgiving crowds were already a thing in the 1950s. It was indeed 'a whole big thing' way back then. I don't know when the special sales started, but they were certainly in place when I worked at a department store in the 70s. We had to be there at 4AM to retag all the merchandise before the store opened at 6AM (instead of the usual 10AM),

        • The sales themselves were around for a long time. But it wasn't until the late 90s that I heard the term used to advertise them.

          I never heard that about the police though. I always heard it was a term the retailers used internally as it was the day the majority of them turned a profit on sales for the year. Going from being in the red to being in the black.

    • Black Friday is for the extroverts, who wants to feel the rush of the season hit them like a brick, be around people and come up with what seems to be interesting stories to tell people.

      Still even before the days of online shopping, a lot of people would do their shopping after a couple of weeks after black Friday where the stock has been replenished, and the crowds are more festive, and less aggressive.

      I think part of the problem today, is that the stores have been aggressive in their sales and marketing,

      • by gfxguy ( 98788 )

        Because the #1 American sin is to purchase something that isn't the best value. Why do you think people are so angry at the $1000 iPhone, it is because they want it or something similar to it, but cannot justify the cost especially compared to its competition, they can afford it, but it isn't the best deal. And if they get it then they have made a bad purchasing decision. Which is really Bad! Even though the product may bring enjoyment to their lives for a good deal of time.

        I understand what you are saying, but "best value" is an interesting turn of phrase because, for example, you are suggesting that a $1000 is the best "value."

        These people don't care about value, they care about impressing their friends with the latest gadgets from the top name brands.... impressing their friends is more important than value; elevating themselves in their own mind is the priority... the psychology is that owning something better somehow makes them better. The short term elation is more impo

        • Which brings up the point. I am not suggesting that the $1000 iPhone is the best value. Because Value is very personal. There is value in impressing your friends, especially if you are a teenager, where their social status is very important to them, if they have the fancy iPhone X while their friends have the less impressive iPhone 8. It puts them one notch in their social status, because they have the better thing. Now if their friends were solid Android Users, the iPhone would outcast them, but if they ha

        • he said it had to be an iPad model because that's what her friend had.

          Unless you want to be on the hook supporting it, go for the iPad and let her ask her friend for help. This is worth the extra money.

  • Weirdly? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:50AM (#55554035)

    >Weirdly, a full 12% of consumers would prefer to shop after Christmas, to capitalize on the post-holiday sales, even though their recipients would get their presents a little late.

    That's not weird. The whole thing is stupidly inefficient - the stores have to stock up and get temporary workers for a month or so, customers have to cram into those stores during that month, and a premium is put on everything to cover the extra expenses plus the whole 'this could be it until next December' mentality.

    On the other hand, I'm pretty much done with the whole 'consume consume consume' thing. Neither I nor any of my family or friends NEED anything, and we have everything we could reasonably want. None of us are starving. None of us lack a book to read or a game to play.

    A gift is something I have to find space for in my house. A gift is something I'm going to think about how wasteful it was to have produced, shipped, and eventually recycled (or thrown in the dump).

    At best (or worst?) I just want to get a little token trinket for someone, and fighting traffic and a crowded mall just to pay a premium for one doesn't appeal. And all the stores around here do 'Boxing Week' sales, with big bargain-hunting crowds pretty much fading in the first day. Damn right I'm going shopping after Christmas, at least for those I won't see until January anyway.

    • Re:Weirdly? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:53AM (#55554057) Homepage Journal
      Gifts can simply be food or wine or something like that. Most sensible adults give those type of gifts when giving to other adults.
      • I'm fully on board with Christmas for adults being shared meals and drinks (especially for people you feel you don't see often enough), but a lot of supposed adults aren't all that sensible!

        I know a lot of people who think gifts are mandatory, followed by endless rounds of 'who appreciated it more', and noses out of joint if enough thanks isn't received. Blech.

      • Re:Weirdly? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ranton ( 36917 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @10:27AM (#55554315)

        Gifts can simply be food or wine or something like that. Most sensible adults give those type of gifts when giving to other adults.

        This is why my wife and I are happy not giving each other gifts for events in the traditional sense. I may never buy her a piece of jewelry or clothing during our entire marriage, unless we are both shopping together. But we do get tickets to theater or sporting events near birthdays and anniversaries as a present to ourselves. This makes holidays and other special events far less stressful.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Fuck you Dad, I want more stuff. Stop telling me what I need and don't need because you're fucking cheap.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      A few years back I told my friends not to get me anything for xmas. If they really must then a card is acceptable, but no gifts.

      It's a big load off. No need to rush around buying extra stuff for people, trying to get through shops that are 50% seasonal crap. Not having to do that is actually the best possible gift they can give me.

  • think for yourself (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:55AM (#55554075)
    It's clear to me that the very wrong time to shop is the time that they *think* you are shopping. The real key to get good deals is to follow your own pattern and not the pattern set up by corporations.
  • Black Friday shopping, going to the store to wait in line to stampede some store for sale items, isn't really going away. It's just changing form. Retailers have realized that online sales are the most cost effective way to go, so things are morphing to online "deals" and away from brick an mortar, break the doors down at 1AM.

    BUT, at this point, I'm guessing the numbers being seen as evidence for this article's conclusions isn't fully understood for what it really means. Christmas spending has been large

    • Agreed, I don't see any evidence it's "going away", in fact, the opposite: just in the past few years, we've seen the videos of massively overcrowded stores and malls opening at 4am or earlier where people are going apeshit and resorting to fistfights over limited items.
      It's madness. I'd much rather shop from the comfort of home; namely Amazon, or in some cases, even eBay. Or, at least, wait a few days. I'm maybe lucky that there's almost nothing I really need to get on a Black Friday on sale that I can

  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @10:01AM (#55554127)
    Why would we stand in line to spend money in person when we can spend less online for the same stuff three days later?
    • by CHK6 ( 583097 )
      Finally, a reply that makes sense. Purchasing online is my preferred means to shop for gifts. I dislike shopping in general and see it as a chore to do. If I need groceries, I get curbside delivery. It used to be hard to find unique gifts and I would find myself wandering in and out of mom and pop boutique shops. But with Etsy, I no longer have to do that. Last year 90% of my holiday shopping was on Amazon and 10% on Etsy. This year I expect a clean 50/50 split between the two.
      • We have a general rule of no shopping in the mall after the second week of November (sometimes earlier). The crowds are just too much to deal with when we can just load Amazon.com, order things, and have them delivered in 2 days instead.

  • I've been able to get a PS4 or XBone for $199 for some time now if I just watch something like Kotaku's adverts for deals. Most of the TV deals are average too. There's a few odds/ends (Home Depot has some holiday decorations on sale for cheap) but that's not going to get anyone out of bed at 4am.
  • there is no way in hell would i stand in line for hours in front of a store, and then navigate my way through a crowd of people to get a product only to save a little bit on it, that is the definition of both insanity & stupidity, it sounds like a good way to become a victim of violence of catching a contagious disease or virus, no thank you, dont want it
    • It can be kind of fun if you go to a niche store instead of Kohls or Best Buy. My in-laws used to live near a Rockler and so when we visited for Thanksgiving we'd go stand in line briefly on Black Friday and share woodworking hobby talk with the fellows in line before being let in and given "random" gift cards. (I'm not so sure they were random... my wife always got the minimum $10 and I seemed to get a bigger one based on how long I let the beard get that year.) So we'd get some supply or kit doorbuster
  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @10:13AM (#55554205)

    And nothing of value was lost.

  • and all of those mob scene stories on the news, how will the rest of the world know that the Thanksmas season, (or is it Christgiving? I can never remember), has started in the US?

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @10:17AM (#55554235)

    It's sensible.

    Who in their right mind would WANT to go buy stuff at the same time everyone else does? Whether that's Black Friday or Christmas in general. If anything, online shopping will do, but I will certainly NOT spend my time in a warehouse around this time of the year.

    First, the obvious: It's a surefire way to get sick. And I'm not even talking about the thousands of people who can't be assed to cover their snouts when sneezing or coughing. It's the insane temperature differences that kill me. Outside it's freezing. So you dress appropriately. But shops feel that compelling urge to turn their sales floor into a Finnish sauna. So you're sweating like a pig. Only to go back outside to be frozen solid. Abso-fucking-lutely great for your health.

    Then a billion people pushing carts and throwing stuff about. with at least as many tripping hazards in tow called children. But dare to punt one of those little pests out of the way. Loud, obnoxious and, not least for the aforementioned sweating, smelling like a rotten egg sandwich.

    And finally, when you think you ALMOST made it to the end, the inevitable line before the cashiers. A million people lined up in front of ONE SINGLE DAMN checkout booth. Staffed with the trainee, of course, so you have plenty of time to decide you absolutely need one of the impulse buy items, accompanied by the sweet sound of whistle buys that throw tantrums because their parents refuse to buy said impulse items.

    You really want to know why we are fed up with this? Are you seriously asking?

  • ... had first heard the term in this [wikipedia.org] context (a reflection on it 30 years later is here [edmontonjournal.com]), I had always found the importing of the term into Canada, which seemed to only start to become a big thing here after around 1990 or so, to be inconsiderate towards those that experienced the event, and especially those who lost someone they cared about on that day. While I know it is not deliberate by any means, as one who lived through that event, it will never be a term that sits well with me, and will forever be

  • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @10:31AM (#55554343)

    That would be 90% of women, and 0% of men.

    • Nice stereotype but had male in-law that would obsess over getting latest thing for their kids, like completely overboard.
  • "was a frantic day of driving to the store at the crack of dawn to fight off other shoppers for great deals. "

    Just like the other 364 days, we now shop online on Black Friday.
    No fights and we can sit on the couch in our underwear, just like any other shopping day.

  • Or does it just smell that way?

  • The people who created it knew it would die. That is why they named it "Black" Friday.
  • Now we have just in time sequence, just in time inventory. Before computers stores and chains built up inventory chains that were comparatively inflexible and communications were slow. Moreover feedback on pricing was slow. Now stores have their warehouses floating in containers at sea and overland via rail and trucks. Theres simply no big build up of stock.

  • Black Friday died in the mid 90s when the masses got their mitts on the world wide web.

    There used to be actual deals (and freebies) worth getting, and you had a decent chance of getting them if you showed up when the store opened.

    Today you have to fight to the death to get a chance at a "good deal" on last year's off brand TV model or $50 off a router that's fundamentally broken out of the box and is EoL so you'll never get firmware updates from the manufacturer, etc. And you have to do it all on Thanksgiv

  • Isn't there a rule for headlines that proclaim "X is dying"?

    Like the rule for every article that asks a question means the answer is "No" ?

  • by superdave80 ( 1226592 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @03:00PM (#55556685)
    They basically made Black Friday disappear when they decided that Friday at 5:00 a.m, juuuuuust wasn't quite early enough. So it became 4 a.m.. Then the next store thought, I better open at midnight to beat every body else! Then it started to run into Thanksgiving time, which nobody really wanted. It's the old story of killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

The opossum is a very sophisticated animal. It doesn't even get up until 5 or 6 PM.

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