Black Friday and the rest of the holiday shopping season have long term effects on the economy, employment figures, and you and me.
The Friday after Thanksgiving is often referred to as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It has been given the name Black Friday because beginning on that day each year, retailers whose books are in the red (negative income) try to make enough profit to bring their books into the black (positive income) for the year.
Black Friday is often used as an indicator for how the rest of the holiday shopping season will go as far as profit and loss is concerned. If spending is down from previous years on Black Friday, it is usually an indicator that people are spending and this doesn't bode well for retailers. But on the other hand, if spending is up on Black Friday, it is a good sign for retailers because shoppers are gaining confidence about the state of the economy.
Millions of bargain hunters fill the stores looking for good deals on Black Friday. Shoppers use this time to buy gifts and personal items that are on sale at prices far lower than they are at any other time of the year. Retailers advertise heavily beginning weeks before Thanksgiving.
Some retailers offer door buster sales that draw people to their stores for that specific item. They know that once people enter the store, they will very likely buy other products that are not on sale as well. Some stores open as early as 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. on Black Friday and some go as far as opening at midnight and remain open until midnight the following Saturday.
Best Buy, Target, GameStop, Michaels, Zales Jewelers, Macy's, JC Penney, Wal Mart, Lowes, Barnes & Noble, K Mart, Macy's, Old Navy, Frys, Sears, Burlington Coat Factory, Kay Jewelers, Toys R Us, Home Depot, Ikea, The Disney Store, Radio Shack, and other retail, convenience, and drug stores stay open long hours and post sales on merchandise throughout their stores starting from Black Friday all the way through Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Years.
Black Friday is appealing to both shoppers and retailers because many people have that day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It has become one of the busiest shopping days of the year and grows in popularity as it has become a highly advertised event.
After Thanksgiving dinner, some people immediately head to the store that is offering the bargains they want and they spend the entire night waiting for the doors to open. Others get up early on Friday morning and spend the whole day shopping in hopes of finding discounted products.
Since there are usually a limited number of certain products, shoppers want to be the first in line, especially for the advertised big ticket items that go on sale such as big screen televisions, computers, and other high tech gadgets. But other items are heavily discounted, too. You can find bargains on clothing and shoes, cookware, toys, books, sporting goods, exercise equipment, and on many other items.
Most retail stores begin stocking up on merchandise and preparing for Black Friday months in advance. The importance of Black Friday is immense because it is the unofficial start of the Christmas holiday shopping season. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas often determines the difference between turning a profit or posting a loss for the entire year.
You will hear the results of Black Friday on the news. Usually, within a day or two after Black Friday, reports come out detailing how much shoppers spent and whether it was a good sign for the economy. Economists and government officials pay very close attention to the numbers because it has a long term affect on employment figures and the economy as a whole.
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