November 30, 2017
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of an American tradition that we will forever remember in our hearts. There was once a day when people fought each other for televisions, rose in the early hours of the morning to get a deal on an Xbox, and punched grandmas in the face for a new phone. That day was known as Black Friday.
While some may argue that retail stores will never go out of style, it is undeniable that online shopping has grown in popularity and replaced the brick and mortar store shopping craze. Many Black Friday veterans are now out of the battle for the best discounts. Black Friday extraordinaires are able to get the same deals online from the comfort of their house, sipping hot chocolate while watching their kids play in the living room. However, we will never forget the love that we have for that special day.
Black Friday was the fantastic day on which stores put significant markdowns on their products in order to get out of the red and into the black before the holiday season. Stores would open in the afternoon on Thanksgiving or in the early hours of Black Friday with customers already lined up in the frigid November weather outside to grab the best deal, all the while scheming about outrunning the shopper next to them.
There was a clear decrease in the amount of shoppers that headed out this year. Only 35% of consumers reported going out shopping on Black Friday this year, according to the Chicago Tribune. This is a 16% decrease in shoppers compared to last year, showing how insignificant Black Friday shopping has become. Many chose to stay home and shop online while the brave few ventured out to local shopping malls and retail stores. Shopping malls were easy to navigate with little to no fights between customers for products and lots of room to walk around. At the Columbia Mall, Sephora, a typically crowded store on Black Friday, only contained a few people and had a shorter line than on a usual day. American Eagle, Aerie, Abercrombie and Fitch, and many other stores in the Columbia Mall followed suit with lines and crowds much smaller than in past years. By the end of the night on Thursday, shops were still very well stocked even after the late night shoppers had come through and half of the Columbia Mall was deserted an hour before closing time.
Friday did not differ from Thursday night. Target, one of the biggest store to hit on Black Friday, was easy to shop and walk around in, well stocked, and plenty of employees were ready and available to help. Compared to last year, there was a significant decrease in revenue from retail stores and a 16.9% increase in online revenue from Black Friday last year. $5 billion were spent online this year, $1.95 billion more than last year, according to Adobe Digital Insights.
The cause of death for Black Friday was due to a variety of factors that included the decrease in discount prices and the long checkout lines. Many stores that had recognized the need for employees to spend the holiday with family so shops were not open on Thanksgiving and shortened their hours. Quite a few stores, such as Barnes and Noble, Sephora, and Lush, did not provide the Black Friday deals that usually send customers flocking to the stores similarly to previous years, bringing down the number of customers. Checkout lines were not well-managed at multiple stores, causing traffic jams and bottlenecks that dragged out the checkout process.
We will always remember Black Friday, one of the greatest days of the year. Black Friday was close to our hearts, from the storefront campsites to the screaming over a discounted eyeshadow palette. Although Black Friday may be dead and gone, we will always have Cyber Monday.