As we saw this past weekend, Black Friday is still a thrill for many shoppers. In the first hour of its stores’ opening, Target, based in Minneapolis, sold 1,800 TVs and 2,000 video games everyminute. However, Black Friday has become increasingly “gray”, as more and more shoppers avoid the day’s craziness. Why stress out when you can enjoy the same deals before or after Black Friday in store or online?This year, U.S. shoppers spent $9.1 billion at stores on Black Friday, a drop of 7% compared to last year. At the same time, in-store sales on Thanksgiving Day jumped 24% and online sales rose 6.4% from the start of Thanksgiving through noon Eastern time on Black Friday (although the value of the average online order fell 1.8%).
So is there any such thing as Black Friday?Black Friday as a single, crazy day of shopping is probably dead. But the spirit of Black Friday is alive. It has become a switch that retailers flip to give shoppers the green light to spend more over several days. In the Greek Antiquity, cathartic rituals allowed people to express their passions and drives fully and freely over several days. Today, Black Friday is a modern cathartic ritual. The fact that it now lasts more than one day might alter the intensity of it, but it does not change the necessity and need for it.