Over the years, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving kickoff to the holiday season, has expanded. It shifted from malls and stores opening a few hours early, to stores opening as soon as the clock strikes midnight on Friday.
But has Black Friday hit its peak?
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent a record $52.4 billion last year, but that was across the four-day holiday weekend and not just on Friday. Along with Black Friday, the post-Thanksgiving weekend now includes Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, both of which have also captured the attention of deal-hungry shoppers.
“There is a difference between just browsing and saying ‘That’s the perfect gift,’ and knowing exactly what you want and where you can just find it specifically online.”
Jenny Tabor, Compliance & Risk Specialist at Community Financial, still sees the advantages of actually going to the stores to seek out deals in person.
“I think a lot of people shop online because they don’t have to leave the house or fight a crowd,” she said. “I understand that, but the stores are trying to lure people in by giving away things in the store because they don’t want to lose the foot traffic at the stores.”
While Tabor does participate in Black Friday, she doesn’t go to the extremes like other shoppers, usually arriving at the store or mall at 8 a.m.
“I am never going to wake up that early, and I am not one to fight over something that is on sale,” Tabor said. “I have thought about (getting up earlier), but I’m not too sold on it.”
Whether you decide to fight the crowds in person, or do your shopping locally or online, there are plenty of deals to be had as the holiday season approaches, both on Black Friday or throughout the season.