Black Friday Trends 2015 – Even more stores opening on Thanksgiving for Black Friday, but fewer stores offering in-store only doorbusters.
Black Friday is certainly evolving with the times. Those that hate Black Friday will likely despise the continuing movement toward stores and major retailers opening on Thanksgiving (as early as 5p in the case of Best Buy and ToysRUs). But, if there is any consolation, the Black Friday days of thousands of people ready to violently stampede a door opening seem to be waning.
Black Friday Trends 2015 #1 – More stores open on Thanksgiving. You could see this one coming a mile away. What started a few years ago as just Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Meijer, has turned into most major retailers opening at 6p for Black Friday. Nothing strange about this. Not a big fan of it, but nothing surprising. The only way this trend is going to reverse itself as if ALL major retailers come together and vow to only open on Friday. It’ll never work if only 1 has the decency to leave Thanksgiving Thursday alone.
Black Friday Trends 2015 #2 – Simplified Doorbusters. It used to be all about the doorbusters. Now, more retailers (a strong exception seems to be ToysRUs) may still use the TERM doorbuster, but not in the tradional “only 10 of these at this location at this price” use of the term. Today’s use of the word doorbuster can be applied to any item. There may be an 11a Friday cutoff limit for that price, but there certainly isn’t the implication that the items were in limited supply like in previous Black Fridays. Wal-Mart used to offer “waves” of doorbusters depending on which hour of the day you shopped, now it’s been simplified… for the better. The threats of “while supplies last” seem to be going the way of the dodo bird.
Black Friday Trends 2015 #3 – No need to camp out. Hard to believe that the secret to Black Friday 10 years ago was you could buy the same Black Friday TV online on Thanksgiving while looking out your window at the idiots that spent 4 days camping out in front of Best Buy. Now, stores are openly advertising on their flyers you can buy the same deals (for the most part) online. 5 years ago, they didn’t want you to know that. The verbiage on Black Friday scans at most retailers makes it seem like they’d rather you shop online with their phrases of “open at 6p on Thursday, but you can shop with no lines at ____.com”. Some retailers are promising additional deals that will be revealed ONLINE ONLY on Thursday, another incentive not to go out.
Black Friday Trends for 2015 #4 – Retailers are paying attention. Maybe retailers are atoning for past tramplings, nightmares and fistfights of Black Fridays past. In addition to stores actually promoting online shopping and simplified doorbusters, major retailers seem to be dialing back the craziness to give bargain hunters a fairer shopping experience. They’re even relaxing the deals a bit and calling them “5 Day Sales” (Bass Pro).
In a nutshell… Black Friday is STILL crazy, but NOT AS crazy as it used to be.