It might be fair to call this Black Thursday-Friday, but I'll just stick with calling it Black Friday (I probably won't in the next few years depending how early they want to go). This year several stores decided to move up their openings earlier on Thanksgiving again. Macy's opened at 6 pm, Best Buy opened at 5 pm, and Old Navy at 4 pm. Many other stores followed suit to open in the afternoon, but if you think that's bad Gander Mountain, Dollar General, and Kmart take the cake by opening at 8 am, 7 am, and 6 am respectively. Black Friday is clearly moving up and it might be possible that the day could be moved up before Thanksgiving (which wouldn't be bad if it meant workers had the day off for Thanksgiving, but could cause trouble between shopping for presents and shopping for food). Meanwhile, retail stores including Costco, Nordstrom, and GameStop decided that they would proudly not be opening on Thanksgiving.
However, the concept of just one day might be dying out over giving a variety of sales throughout the month. The sign of how much of a profit Black Friday gives to retail companies is clear on the Dow Jones industrial average, which showed just how weak the day was because it only increased by 0.49 of a point and closed at 17,828.24. This is a result of retailers offering deals earlier in the month to make-up for lost sales during the year. Black Friday is slowly fading away as a day. Maybe it's better to call it "Black November." Many stores offered deals on Thursday night in order to get consumers faster, which brings an important point to our great semi-free market economy, which is always changing with new innovations.
If consumers don't find what they want at retail stores, the internet is always the second option (and is starting to slowly become the first). Cyber Monday has been dying quickly in its own right because people are starting to realize that deals are year-round at times and don't just focus on one day. If Best Buy didn't get me into the store to buy a 64GB flash drive, then I would just get it on Amazon.com. If Target didn't get me into the store to buy Killing Patton by Bill O'Reilly, then I would also go to Amazon for that. Early November deals and the internet are the primary reason crowds during Black Friday are getting smaller.
Online sales were up by 6.4 percent this year. Amazon was found to have the best discounts and deals. For example, Amazon offered a Samsung 55-inch 4K flat-screen TV for $899 and the website Dealnews.com (a website that specializes in tracking online deals) declared that Amazon's price was the cheapest for a name-brand 4K television it had ever seen. Nevertheless, the National Retail Federation predicts that sales will be up by 4.1 percent this year compared to 3.1 percent last year. Electronics were clearly the favorites this year as laptops and TVs far sold out against children's clothes where business was weak. We will all just have to see how well retailers will really do this year in the next coming weeks before Christmas and the other holidays.