Weeks after ‘Black Friday’ sales started, it’s finally here. And it’s anticlimactic

www.washingtonpost.com

Black Friday. Every shoppers dream. A day when discounts fall from the heavens and, in the words of my brother in law, “Things are so cheap they might as well be free!” A great day to burn off some of the Thanksgiving calories (assuming you didn’t go to a grocery with a gym) while participating in the year’s most eagerly awaited commerce day. Or is it?

This year’s Black Friday sales began in October, long before most Americans had even begun thinking about Thanksgiving. In the weeks since, retailers have pushed out nonstop “HoliDeals” and “Early Access” promotions aimed at getting consumers to spend early and often. A number of factors, including looming tariffs, winter storms and a shorter-than-usual holiday shopping season, have kept retailers on edge during what is typically their most lucrative period of the year. Many are banking that the time-release roll outs of promotions and special offers will keep customers hooked. 
But many shoppers now view Black Friday as just another day of sales. When they do buy, they’re increasingly doing so online: This year, for the first time, most U.S. consumers say they will do the bulk of their holiday shopping on computers and mobile devices, according to professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

I ended up doing all my Black Friday shopping from the comfort of a villa in Cabo where I happen to be spending Thanksgiving this year. Black Friday deals came, I knew what I wanted (a bunch of Sonos stuff that was all 20% off which is exactly what I was waiting for) and boom, that was it. The game of “discount chicken” between consumers and retailers has been going on for years. However, unlike Singles Day in China which is gaining momentum, the beginning of the end of Black Friday may have now arrived.

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