Do you remember this image of the madness that descends on a Friday after Thanksgiving, (American) lines up usually hundreds of people at a time, piling into stores like ants in a mad hunt for discounts on items they may or may not need?
Black Friday in Canada is not nearly as chaotic as it is in the United States. Canadians are increasingly turning to the event for their shopping needs.
According to the Retail Council of Canada’s second annual holiday survey, Black Friday is the top shopping event of the year in Canada, with 43 % of Canadians planning on taking advantage of the deals compared to 34 % on Boxing Day and 32% on Cyber Monday.
A senior advisor M. Leblanc at the Retail Council of Canada, says that Black Friday first picked up steam in Canada about a decade ago when the Canadian dollar was on par with the U.S. dollar and retailers were seeing customers cross the border to take advantage of deals.
Retailers saw a risk of losing sales and money. M LeBlanc said in an interview with Yahoo Finance Canada:
It seems like Canadians were telling them that they want a shopping event before Christmas and that the Council needs to create this event. They also thought that Black Friday was an event that would kick off the holiday season and allow them gift-giving opportunities.
For millions of people, Black Friday is the time to do some serious Christmas Shopping. Black Friday is always the Friday after (American)Thanksgiving, and it’s one of the major shopping days of the year in the United States, and in Canada. It’s always between November 23rd and 29th.
Historically, Black Friday has yet another connotation, one unrelated to shopping. In 1869 Wall Street Financiers Jay Gould and Jim Fisk attempted to corner the nation’s gold market at the New York Gold Exchange by buying as much of the precious metal as they could, with the intention of sending prices skyrocketing. On Friday, September 24, intervention by President Ulysses S. Grant caused their plan to fall apart. The stock market instantly plummeted, sending thousands of Americans into bankruptcy.
It was used again towards the end of the 1950s by Philadelphia police to refer to the day after Thanksgiving when massive crowds came to the city forcing police to work long hours, griped about the congested streets, clogged with motorists and pedestrians calling it Black Friday.
The term Black Friday (in the retail sense) was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff of the Christmas shopping season. Black refers to stores moving from red to black, back when accounting records being written by hand, and red ink indicated a loss and black ink a profit. Ever since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season.
Now that retailers have started to realize they can attract big crowds by cutting prices, Black Friday has become the craziest day for shopping, even better than those last-minute Christmas sales.
Some retailers list their items a week before Black Friday and send special offers online to consumers a few days before the event.
The most purchased items are electronics and popular toys, as they can be the most discounted. However, prices are reduced on everything from furniture to clothing.
Black Friday is a long day, with many retailers opening Thanksgiving afternoons to hordes of people anxiously waiting outside the windows.
Most large retailers pre-post their Black Friday advertising scans, coupons, and deals online to give consumers time to research sales and plan their purchases.
While other businesses are taking a different approach, waiting until the last possible moment to run their Black Friday ads, hoping to create a buzz and keep customers eagerly coming back for an ad.
Often, many people show up for a small number of limited-time door-buster deals, such as large flat-screen televisions or laptops for a few hundred dollars. Since these coveted items sell out quickly, many shoppers find themselves leaving the store empty-handed.
More the years go by, more consumers are choosing to shop online, so they don’t have to wait outside in the early morning chill with a crush of other shoppers or battle over the last most-wanted item.
The benefit of online shopping is that you’ll know right away if the gaming system or pressure cooker you want is out of stock, and can easily find another one without having to travel from store to store.
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