|The Graceful 'Graying' Of Black Friday Is A Response To Millennials
The term “Black Friday” is thought to have originated in Philadelphia about 55 years ago, and initially referred to the congestion and crowds caused by the busy shopping day that occurs on the Friday immediately following Thanksgiving. Over the years, however, the term “Black Friday” came to be associated with profitability and the notion of retailers swimming in “black ink” as a result of making many sales.
The last few years have seen Black Friday sales at retail stores apparently reach their peak. In 2015, brick and mortar retail sales on Black Friday declined by about 5%. With the advent of “Cyber Monday” and retailers offering many deals earlier than before has led some to argue that Black Friday should now be called “Gray Friday” due to its decline. While it is true that Black Friday has probably passed its peak, there are good reasons for this. At a macro level, the underlying reasons for the slowdown in Black Friday sales are good for consumer and goof for retailers.
A big part of the shift away from Black Friday as the central focus of the holiday shopping season has to with retailers responding to consumer trends – and a good portion of these trends are driven by wants and needs of the millennial generation. One major shift has been that retailers are now offering Black Friday deals earlier than before. Driven by aggressive online deals from Amazon (and now other retailers), the season now starts immediately after Halloween. One reason this makes sense is that surveys are showing that, in contrast to the baby boomers and even gen x, millennials actually prefer a longer holiday season. In fact, if you hear somebody complaining about store shelves being stocked with Christmas items late in October, it is probably an older person doing the complaining. Many younger shoppers also prefer the shopping season being spread out.
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This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. You'll find a link to the original after the post.
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