The craziest shopping day in America is coming up and retailers are already rolling out their 2014 hours and deals. “Black Friday,” as the day after Thanksgiving is commonly referred to, is the highest sales day of the year for malls, retailers, and outlets alike.
In 2013, Americans spent $12.3 billion in overall sales. Americans waited in countless lines at obscene hours of the day in order to get the best price on a huge TV or gaming system. Other Americans began their long list of Christmas shopping, and plan out their day to be efficient and cost-effective. Some Americans woke up at the crack of dawn just to “people watch” on this crazy day.
Now, most people know Black Friday as an American “holiday” (dare I even call it that?), but Black Friday has effectively made its way into the hearts of other countries and regions, and boy, has it made an impact.
For a historical viewpoint, along with more perspective on the holiday, watch this video.
CNBC Retail Reporter Courtney Reagan is calling Black Friday a “new American export.”
“From Russia to Mexico to China, they may not celebrate Thanksgiving, but more and more global consumers are coming to know what the day after means: 50 percent off cashmere sweaters.” –Reagan
Countries all over the world are joining in on buying and selling on Black Friday along with Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving which is dedicated to online deals and steals). Michale Desimone is the CEO of Borderfree, a company that helps facilitate international sales through currency and shipping.
“In the Middle East much of the population doesn’t even celebrate Christmas, but they are still shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so I think it’s an interesting way that we have sort of exported our American retail culture,” DeSimone said.
It’s interesting how other countries pick up American culture, even when the motives behind each countrie’s celebration is different. Obviously, people around the world want to shop while sales are occurring, but DeSimone says there are more reasons than that for international buyers to join in on this shopping-filled day/weekend.
“While international shoppers are interested in the competitive pricing and the wide selection of products American retailers offer, DeSimone said the draw is often more than just the combination of those two things. The third reason international shoppers give for buying from American retailers online is‘so people think I recently went to the United States.’”
While I understand the craze surrounding Black Friday, both domestically and Internationally, it has bothered me in recent years that Black Friday has turned into half of Thanksgiving day and then Friday. Every year the starting times for sales gets earlier and earlier, slowly but surely impeading on family time, which doesn’t seem to be a high priority in America anymore. With stores opening earlier, many people have to pick up and go to work through the night in order to satisfy our materialistic needs, when they could be home with their families.
I couldn’t find any details on how Black Friday works in the Middle East, but with family being a high value in their culture, I can only assume that some part of Friday is devoted to their loved ones. Whether that means shopping with their families or going to eat after shopping to just sit down and enjoy each other’s company.
Do you go shopping on Black Friday? Do you have any qualms about the materialism or the deals running over into Thanksgiving?