The day after Thanksgiving is known to retailers and consumers as Black Friday. On this day smart shoppers take to the malls in droves, gearing up for the Christmas giving season with slashed prices only available on this special day.
Consumers can expect highly reduced prices on everything from toys, clothing, electronics, and much more.
According to BlackFriday2011.com, a type of WikiLeaks for serious Black Friday shoppers who want to see advertisements before they get published, there is expected to be 220 million people bargain hunting this coming Friday, up from 212 million last year.
Black Friday is incredibly important to retailers. SpendingPulse, a market analysis outlet, estimates that Black Friday business is worth as much as $20 billion in sales, with many of the largest shopping outlets opening earlier with extended hours.
Toys R Us is planning on opening at 10pm on Thursday night, just enough time to barely digest the Thanksgiving Turkey. Sears will be open on Thursday morning, interfering with consumers’ ability to watch the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; and Walmarts is not taking any closing time at all.
“They’re all trying to take market share away from each other,” Cynthia Groves, head of global retail consulting at Newmarket Knight Frank in Washington.
The longer hours for the shops has many people complaining, and is not seen universally as a good thing:
“It’s a national holiday, not a national shopping day,” wrote one signer or a petition to not open Target at midnight on Friday morning. “Encouraging people to shop in the middle of the night is bizarre,” added another petitioner.