Like the origins of COVID-19 somewhere in Wuhan, China, chances are we’ll never truly know where and how Black Friday started. But we’ll know when it ended: this week.
Between that global pandemic that forever changed shopping habits to the relentless push to e-commerce to the reversal of store opening policies during the Thanksgiving period, Black Friday has become pretty much a meaningless term.
And I’m ok with that.
Black Friday, when it truly existed, was absolutely an anomaly that had very little to do with being a leading indicator for holiday shopping trends and like more recent inventions like Alibaba’s Singles Day and Amazon Prime Day, it often just borrowed sales from the surrounding period and concentrated them all in one day.
When Black Friday sales pop up as often as one-day sales at Macy’s and Krazy Koupon Daze at Kohl’s, the promotion had pretty much lost much of its relevance even before the pandemic. Throw in this year’s supply chain shortages that are driving shoppers to order earlier and the whole idea of everyone getting into a feeding frenzy on the day after the Turkey is pretty much absurd.
Certainly this is all good news for the workers manning the cash register and stock rooms, not to mention fulfillment center human drones and FedEx drivers. Shoppers storming the retail Bastilles and trying to find a parking spot also have to breathe a sigh of relief.
Black Friday was quite an event back in the day. It provided endless conversation, commerce and consternation for just about everybody.
And now, in 2021, it’s just another day of the week.
Award-winning Journalist & Consultant for the retailing and home furnishings industries with extensive business media experience in both fields.