This year’s Black Friday spent in slippers

Madeline Wheeler

Deserted, abnormally warm
and decorated streets were a common
sight on Black Friday this
year.
Carytown, Richmond’s premier
small-business shopping destination,
was desolate on a vacation
Friday at noon. This is rare for
any Friday, but Black Friday?
Simply unbelievable.
A couple of families strolled
with perhaps one small shopping
bag filled with discounted toys.
Most stores in the confederation
of small businesses did not offer
many special deals and most likely,
could not afford to.
Small Business Saturday followed
Black Friday, and provided
a greater celebration of the locally-
owned shops. The stores main
holiday deals were on Saturday,
such as Steady Sounds’s 20% off
any record deal. Emphasis was
placed on Small Business Saturday
to encourage many to go out then
instead of commercialized and insane
Black Friday in local
stores.
Black Friday has been losing its popularity for the
past several years, the cause
for this stemming from an extended
shopping and sale marked period beginning
in October and an increased
reliance on online shopping. Online
Black Friday sales were previously
low and businesses put
focus on customers visiting stores
instead of buying online, adding
to the Black Friday craze at shopping
centers.
With the introduction of Cyber
Monday more online deals
appeared and many shoppers began
choosing the warmth of their
own home over screaming crowds at
Wal-Mart at 5 in the morning.
Accordingto an article on the Verge, sales
in stores on Black Friday dropped
by over $1 billion as smart shoppers
punched the “place order” button
on their cellular phones and
smirked at their deals in their
robes and bunny slippers.
Online shopping sales rose 18
percent from last year, jumping
up to $4.45 billion over both the
Thanksgiving and Black Friday
weekends. 34 percent of online
purchases were made on a mobile
device or tablet, showing the shift
away from desktop shopping to
on-the-go wireless devices.
A majority of shoppers also believe
that retailers’ discounts from
now until Christmas day are better
than Black Friday weekend’s
so-called steals. The exclusive
one day only status of the maddening
deals of the most famous
shopping day have also dwindled.
More deals are available for longer
periods of time and allow
shoppers to purchase their gifts in
mid-October with the same percentage
off as the shopping day.
Who knows? Maybe the awful
reputation featuring horror
stories of being trampled and
smacked upside the head with a
child sized pink jeep has come to
a sputtering stop.

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