Showing posts with label Black Friday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Black Friday. Show all posts

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday and the Holiday Shopping Season-The Philosopher and the Capitalist

Black Friday is the day that a mass of Christmas shoppers line the store fronts in search of hard fought treasures. This year Black Friday is being stretched from Thursday evening till the end of business on Saturday. Crowds are not so heavy, consumers not so excited, and sales over the entire season will be a better determinant of retail success. Whether you are standing in line or buying over the net consider what Black Friday means to you.

Changes in days are not the only differences you will notice this year. The crowds are a little thinner and there have been a few more protests over excessive consumerism. People simply are not buying everything they can this year and are instead focusing on those big ticket items that save them money; assuming that buying these items are necessary. Many others are skipping the crazy shopping madness and instead searching for their products online.

The problem with Black Friday is not the deals or even the interest. The problem lies in how people rely on buying as many products as possible to show their interest in others. Lots of products and expensive gifts are not the only activity on the menu. Consider the time you spend with others and the memories. Instead of crashing through the door maybe you should take your family out, get lunch, and go shopping together.

The anti-consumer culture crowd came out this year to teach us the value of Thanksgiving. I applaud them for their efforts and the philosopher in me thinks in many ways they are right. I refused to stand in line or worry about whether or not I get a specific expensive item on my "Santa List". Instead, I decided to make shopping this year stretched out over a few months.

Black Friday does act as a marker for holiday season sales. The theory is that if Black Friday goes well then the rest of the year will also go well. Throughout much of the year retailers don't make much money and most of their income is allocated to paying bills and overhead. Black Friday and the holiday season is a time when many turn their red line into a black line for the year.

The capitalist in me hopes the retailers do well and positive consumer sentiment of late fosters higher sales. Retailers are an important part of the economy. They take manufactured products, built from raw materials, and sent to locations by drivers, that are put up on shelves by store workers. This equates to employment, employment, employment. Even Scrooge could understand the connection between employment and bread on Tiny Tim's plate.

Whether your a philosopher or a capitalist, or a little of both, you can appreciate the value of holiday shopping and the meaning of the holidays to a great many people. Perhaps if we focus on what is important to us, and the people we love, we can still enjoy buying products and keeping the spirit of the Holiday Season alive.  Next year shop throughout the year, look for deals, save up your money, and enjoy more of the holiday season doing what you want. Good luck and happy hunting.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Consumers Opt for Online Shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday rose 18% this year totaling $1.74 billion according to comScore. This reflects the largest volume in history so far. In addition, IBM reported that online sales during Black Friday were up 20% this year. This increase is not due to in-store shopping. Consider that ShopperTrak reported in-store sales on Black Friday declined 13.2% while foot traffic decreased 11.2%. Total sales for Thursday and Friday increased a modest 2.8% for both days.

What does all this mean? It means that more people are opting to purchase items online. They are becoming accustomed to searching out the products and services they desire and scouring the Internet for the best deals. Their high-powered shopping capacity may not get the very best deals but saves them considerable time and effort.

Even those who decided to hit the stores used the Internet to find the best Black Friday deals. They can find deeper discounts on the shelves than online but must make considerable personal investment to be there. When they do go shopping, they skip right over the items they are not interested in and make a mad dash for specific big ticket items like cell phones, tvs, gaming machines, and computers.

Retailers typically offer high discounts on products to drive people to their store locations. The online ads are a form of advertising. To make such deep discounts possible the stores hope that they will purchase other products while shopping or become more familiar with the location for future sales. Consumers seem to be skipping over the concept and watching where they are spending their money.

The trending toward online shopping has a number of advantages for consumers. Driving the car, spending gas, getting ready, finding parking spots, fighting off crowds and carrying arms full of expensive gifts is not very exciting. Shopping at stores can be downright stressful. Spending time online is something most consumers are now accustomed. Enjoy a latte and shop in style…the products will be delivered to your doorstep.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Three Searchable Black Friday Sites

If you’re planning to avoid the long lines and enjoy holiday shopping while not having to skip out on the family you may want to enjoy some Black Friday Sites. Nothing is more annoying than freezing in a line all evening in order to be a“door buster” who screams, clobbers, and pull products out of each other’s hands.  Why go through the mess when you can search online?

Each of these sites is chosen because they allow for a searchable function.  Because I am seeking a T3I Cannon Rebel 18.1 Megapixel professional camera for under $350, I decided to wait until Black Friday to make my purchase.  Instead of banging down the door I better spend the holidays with family and let my fingers do all of the work.  It not only saves time but also saves the masses of crowds.

Black Friday started somewhere in Philadelphia and expanded to other areas as a time when holiday shopping starts.  Before this time, it was associated with Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and the 1864 stock market crash. Some believe it is a time when large retailers with huge overhead start to turn a profit for the year. This profit is one reason why the Holiday season, including Black Friday, becomes a major benchmark for retailers. A few percentage points can make a huge difference.