Black Friday kicks off the year’s biggest shopping season. But with higher prices on everything from groceries to gas, what bargains are shoppers hoping for on Black Friday itself and throughout the holiday deals season?
Black Friday marks the biggest shopping day of the year, kicking off the holiday buying season. With inflation squeezing wallets in 2023, when is Black Friday and what bargains are consumers hoping for?
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The Origins of the Black Friday Tradition
Black Friday occurs the day after Thanksgiving, which falls on November 24th 2023. But just how did this retail phenomenon get its name and rise to prominence as the unofficial start of Christmas shopping? The exact origins are hazy, however:
What’s Behind the Name “Black Friday”
While contradictory theories abound, the term likely originated in Philadelphia in the 1960s.
Huge crowds and traffic jams from tourists arriving for the Army-Navy football game caused headaches for police officers. Greater consumer spending around the holidays soon gave the day its modern association with sales and shopping.
How Black Friday Became So Important for Retail
The day earned its name because the kickoff of holiday shopping helped push retailers’ annual revenue and profits “into the black.”
Consumer activity continues to increase year after year, cementing Black Friday as critical for sales and setting the tone for the Christmas season.
When Does the 2023 Shopping Frenzy Begin?
Eager to motivate earlier spending, retailers start deals long before Black Friday hits. Savvy shoppers should track specials across October and November from their go-to merchants.
Early Bird Specials Start Weeks Before
Major retailers have already launched discounts even though Black Friday remains weeks away. Amazon held a second Prime Day event on October 11th and 12th, while companies like Target and Walmart run early holiday sales.
Preview Sales Heat Up Closer to Thanksgiving
The two weeks leading up to Black Friday will see even more temptation for shoppers.
Retailers hope to capture consumer dollars heading into the three-day weekend encompassing Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
The Main Event: Day After Thanksgiving
Black Friday itself on November 24th brings the most aggressive and highly-anticipated deals. Brick-and-mortar store locations often open at midnight or earlier for one-day-only doorbusters driving early traffic.
Economic Influences Driving 2023 Black Friday Momentum
Despite burdens like high inflation, three key factors contribute to continued Black Friday fervour:
Shoppers Still Plan to Spend
The holiday season remains an important time for consumers to purchase gifts. Though personal budgets may be tighter, 55% still expect to shop Thanksgiving weekend deals according to one survey.
Much of the country enjoys pleasant late November temperatures. Shoppers are more willing to wait in long lines outside stores or head to the mall if the weather permits holiday travel.
Cyber Monday Extends Deals
While Black Friday garners headlines, Cyber Monday offers another wave of digital-specific bargains. Consumers enjoyed over $11 billion in online deals last year.
The Most Sought-After Discounts This Year
Four categories see particularly strong demand for buyers looking to save or find the perfect gift:
Apparel and Winter Gear: Clothing, coats, boots and accessories help shoppers refresh winter wardrobes or find fashionable presents. Retailers like Macy’s and Ugg run rare discounts to attract traffic.
Electronics: Early tech deals lure enthusiastic shoppers seeking good prices on items like laptops, tablets, smartphones, and hot gaming systems.
Toys: Kids’ wish lists and parents’ desire for joyful but affordable gifts make toys one of the most popular Black Friday categories. Major discounts can run 50-70% off.
Wide Range Beyond Door Busters: Even beyond hot-ticket doorbusters, the Black Friday kicks off sales spanning jewellery, housewares, sporting goods, and mattresses. Savvy shopping across categories yields savings.
5 Expert Tips for Black Friday Savings
Approaching Black Friday deals informed and with a strategy enables scoring the absolute best values. Keep these tips in mind:
- Set a Firm Holiday Shopping Budget
- Make a List of Exact Items to Track Deals On
- Check Previews from Favorite Retailers
- Read Promotions Fine Print on Discounts, Returns, Etc.
- Use Coupons and Cash Back Sites for Added Savings
Retailers offer substantial deals over Black Friday weekend across categories. Informed shoppers can tap into top bargains for everyone on their gift list while maintaining their overall holiday budget.
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