The period after Thanksgiving is the most busy US shopping period of the year. The traditional shopping period has been extended beyond Black Friday to include several days that now culminate on what is being called Green Tuesday. Here is a review of each of the four major shopping days that constitute the core of holiday shopping maddness.
The day following Thanksgiving is Black Friday in the US, this day traditionally marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On this day, most major retailers open extremely early, often at 4 a.m., or earlier, and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season. Most non-retail employees have the day off, increasing the number of potential shoppers. It is the busiest shopping day of the year. The expression Black Friday originated in Philadelphia in the 60’s and more recently the term has been explained as the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or are “in the black”. In 2011 several retailers (including Target, Kohls, Macy’s, Best Buy, and Bealls) will open at midnight for the first time. Walmart will open at 10:00 on Thanksgiving night and Toys ‘R’ Us at 9:00. In 2010, Sears was open on Thanksgiving day.
Small Business Saturday
The day after Black Friday, is Small Business Saturday. Started in 2010 as a day when people “shop small”, in support of America’s small businesses. Small businesses are trying to level the playing field to compete with the big boxes by using social media like Facebook, Twitter, and email to promote their businesses. Now American Express has gotten onboard to help support Small Business. They are providing free tools and social media help make the day a success. The tools include a facebook site, in store signage, emarketing materials including social media templates and even free advertising. There are even free buttons that will help small businesses monitor what people are saying about them.
Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday immediately following Black Friday, the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the US, created by companies to persuade people to shop online. The term made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled “‘Cyber Monday’ Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year”. According to the Shop.org/BizRate Research 2005 eHoliday Mood Study, “77 percent of online retailers said that their sales increased substantially last year on the Monday after Thanksgiving, a trend that is driving serious online discounts and promotions on Cyber Monday this year (2005)”. In 2006, Shop.org announced that it launched the CyberMonday.com portal, a one-stop shop for Cyber Monday deals. In 2010, comScore reported that consumers spent $1028M online on Cyber Monday (excluding travel, 2009: $887M), the highest spending day of 2010. Cyber Monday has become an international marketing term used by online retailers in Canada, Chile, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany and New Zealand.
The day after Cyber Monday is being called Green Tuesday. The environmental organization Green American is suggesting that stores should offer specials on “green” products starting the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The non-profit environmental group is advocating that the Tuesday after Thanksgiving be dedicated to “green” shopping activities. Green America will be participating in this newly declared shopping holiday. Its Web site, GreenDeals.org, will therefore be featuring a week’s worth of green product specials starting on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. Some of the green products that will be discounted on Green Tuesday include self-watering systems for indoor and outdoor plants and annual memberships for car-sharing or bicycle-sharing clubs. There will be approximately 15 to 20 products and related coupons featured on a daily basis between Nov. 29 and Dec. 6. All of the businesses featured on the Web site are from local and national green businesses that have been approved by Green America.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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