The Myth of Black Friday

Some say that the Friday after Thanksgiving is called “Black Friday” because that’s the typical day on which retail operations get into the black, or begin earning a profit for the year. Others say (with better historical data) that the term “Black Friday” actually refers to the experience of retail workers and police officers coping with the beginning of the holiday season.

Neither of those is the myth. The myth is that the Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year. It hardly ever is. December 23rd is more likely to be, followed by the Saturday before Christmas.

Retailers like the idea of making Black Friday into a sort of holiday, though, a special shopping day that you shouldn’t miss. And a few years ago, online retailers managed to concoct a whole mythical shopping day of their own: CyberMonday.

On the Monday after Thanksgiving, the story went, people would get back to work and spend their coffee breaks shopping online. Internet news sources reported the phenomenon, which didn’t exist, and actually managed to get a nice little spike in online shopping for that day.

E-commerce sites have, ever since, offered special deals on this day and otherwise tried to get people to see it as a special shopping opportunity. Why not? Marketing stunts can entertain and amuse people, and can also increase sales. So if you’re in the mood, run a CyberMonday promotion. Don’t forget to do press releases. Interview local major business owners about whether they plan to be strict about CyberMonday shopping among their employees, and describe the extra efforts you’ll be making to cope with the rush. If you have a brick and mortar store, tell your Black Friday shoppers to be sure to check out the CyberMonday specials. Make it a worthwhile stunt.






One response to “The Myth of Black Friday”

  1. Josepha Haden Avatar
    Josepha Haden

    Best photo ever.

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