Single-day Black Friday now a bloated month

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Black Friday once was a single-day shopping extravaganza. Then came Cyber Monday, then Cyber Week… now, Black Friday events even pop up in the summer. What happened?

Black Friday once had a simple definition: a one-day shopping blowout, when major retailers such as Macy’s and Target promised rock-bottom deals the day after US Thanksgiving.

Today, however, it isn’t unusual to find stores advertising Black Friday sales well before the holiday shopping season unofficially kicks off; Walmart is already running its Black Friday adverts in the US, for instance. Some businesses kick off their deals months earlier, or stretch them after Black Friday itself, like Cyber Monday, a digital afterparty focused on ecommerce discounts.

What started as the highest-profile single shopping day of the year has turned into a synonym for “deep-discount shopping event” – even if it happens to be in July. “Black Friday really is a huge deal,” explains David Bassuk, New York-based partner and managing director at AlixPartners, a global business-advisory firm. “But Black Friday is no longer a single-day event.”

How did Black Friday bloat from a day to an entire season – and beyond? Experts say it’s the result of retailers trying to outdo one another to capture shopper dollars, especially amid the rise of ecommerce platforms, such as Amazon. But the success of the Black Friday model is also thanks to the way a simple turn of phrase – “the lowest prices ever” – can capture even the savviest shopper’s attention.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!