Black Friday: A Worldwide Success


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.

Kmart Thanksgiving

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.

black friday

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?

Resources:

This Post Has All The Black Friday Stats You Need To Sound Smart In Meetings

New American Export: Black Friday

Black Friday: It’s not just America

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5 thoughts on “Black Friday: A Worldwide Success

  1. I love black Friday shopping! My family only goes on Friday and I, with the rest of my family think Black Friday should remain on Friday. In pass years Black Friday has been starting as early as 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day when you should be with your family! I do not have any problems with cyber Monday, but people are supposed to be being thankful on Thursday yet they are being greedy and shoving and fighting over materialistic things. Seems ironic right?

  2. I completely agree; I think Black Friday should be left on Friday! My family and I are typically in a rural area of Georgia for Thanksgiving, so we are not able to actually Black Friday shop like most of my friends. So I understand (and really enjoy) the fact that an online option is available – just like I’m sure people internationally appreciate it. My qualm is the fact that Black Friday has become “idealized” and more prominent than the holiday itself. America has become too individualistic in this regard. That’s something other countries appear to value more than us and Black Friday (kinda) proves it.

  3. I have not participated in the Black Friday activities so it comes to a complete surprise to me that other countries participate in this American tradition. I honestly think it’s really sad that many people in the United States prioritize major sales over the time that is given to them to spend with their loved ones.
    One thing I was kind of confused about in your blog is how questioned how Black Friday works in the Middle East. I could be completely wrong, but because Thanksgiving is an American holiday, I wouldn’t think the actual holiday would be celebrated in the Middle East. While family is a high value in Middle Eastern culture, I don’t really understand why they would need to devote their time to their family on this specific day seeing as how it is not a part of their particular culture.

  4. I have gone black Friday shopping and I found it to be quite exhausting. I have also worked black Friday at 4am for Office Max, but luckily lost my voice and was able to go back home an hour later. Sometimes I think it can be found to be a family event after Thanksgiving and an almost bonding experience. As for the employees who have to work the dreaded hours of black Friday, I think it does take time from their holiday considering they aren’t spending time with their family. I think it is almost funny how people from the Middle East online shop for reasons to make it look like they recently visited the USA, considering Americans don’t order clothes from other countries with that mentality.

  5. I personally feel very strongly that Black Friday has gotten way out of hand. I work in retail, and last year many of my family members and I had to go into work on Thanksgiving night, so we had to have a Thanksgiving “lunch.” Family is very important to me and I cherish holiday time when we are all together, so this was very upsetting. Stores open sooner and sooner each year, but sadly this won’t stop until people stop going to the stores at the time they open. Thanksgiving is for family and Black Friday is for finding deals. The two should not mesh. It is interesting that other countries are participating in Black Friday shopping even when they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas, because I would have never thought that. After all, a good deal is a good deal (as long as it doesn’t hurt family time).

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