I was sceptical we needed a "Black Friday" sales pitch but canvassed the hairdresser crowd yesterday and was blown away by the enthusiasm and planning they were putting into their Black Friday shopping! While I thought of Black Friday as unlucky Friday 13th they clearly saw it as an opportunity for starting (and hopefully finalising) their Christmas shopping this Friday 27th November.
Black Friday follows upon Thanksgiving in the US - in the 19th and 20th centuries apparently Thanksgiving parades were often sponsored by large department stores (like the Macy parade now) and Santa might make an appearance at the end of the parade, signalling the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Since 2005 it is commonly the highest turnover day of the year for American retailers. Cyber Monday is the following Monday (so this year 30th November) and seems to have been coined by the National Retail Federation, recognising growing ecommerce sales on the Monday following Black Friday.
What about Australia? With greater inreach from American retailers, Black Friday sales have grown this decade. Apple led the way, with significant Black Friday discounts and expedited shipping to Australia. Now most Australian retailers offer some Black Friday promotions. While we lack the holiday marker to launch the Christmas shopping season, apparently Australians now spend about $3.9 billion in these sales!
So the hairdresser crowd offered this Black Friday tip: go to your favourite online stores, put your choices in your wishlist and on Friday logon early and checkout your shopping! Sounds dedicated to me.