An overwhelming majority of brands launch their Black Friday sales the Monday before Thanksgiving according to data compiled by Modern Fellows. Black Friday is Dead. Welcome to Cyberweek.
Survey: Black Friday 2021 sales launched early
Modern Fellows monitored 121 clothing and footwear brands who hosted Black Friday sales.
In 2021, 95 of those 121 brands (78.5%) had launched a Black Friday sale or pre-sale by the Monday before Thanksgiving.
A number of brands dropped Black Friday sales and discounts even earlier:
- Nordstrom surprised with an early launch of blowout Black Friday 2021 deals on November 19.
- Affordable athletic brand Gymshark kicked off its annual Black Friday sale a full week before Thanksgiving.
- Workleisure company Ministry of Supply and elevated men’s clothing brand Todd Snyder began their Black Friday 2021 sales on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Black Friday is officially dead.
Explore a list of 100+ Cyberweek clothing sales from years past.
Black Friday died in 2019
The year 2019 officially marked the death of Black Friday.
In 2019, I noticed a trend that was not evident as I monitored annual Black Friday sales since 2012:
Black Friday sales no longer started on Black Friday, or even Thanksgiving.
In 2019, many of the innovative e-commerce brands I track launched their Black Friday sales on Monday, November 25.
Here are just a couple of examples from Black Friday 2019:
- Furniture startup Joybird took 35% off throughout Cyberweek.
- Washington, DC-based menswear startup Hugh and Crye offered Black Friday pricing of up to 50% off throughout Cyberweek with code HOLIDAY19.
- Ministry of Supply, which makes technical fabric workwear for women and men, offered 20% off sitewide during Cyberweek with code BF2019.
- Madewell, the upscale womenswear brand that spun off from J. Crew, is had 30% off purchases during Cyberweek with code GIFTWELL.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black Friday and Cyberweek
Then came 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic. With clothing and footwear stores struggling to survive, many offered their best, Black Friday pricing of the year as early as October. (Amazon contributed to the trend by launching its Prime Day promotions in mid-October 2020.)
The emergence of Cybermonday
Earlier, Black Friday as a standalone day of shopping began to be undercut by the emergence in the mid-2000 of Cyber Monday.
Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation is credited with having coined the term Cybermonday in a 2005 press release, to describe a trend the trade association saw towards increased online traffic and sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Black Friday vs. Thanksgiving
The mid-2000s also saw stores like Walmart and Best Buy and outlet centers opening their doors the evening — and in some cases the afternoon — of Thanksgiving day.
American Express introduces Small Business Saturday
In 2010, American Express bridged Black Friday and Cybermonday by introducing Small Business Saturday. The credit card company launched the shopping concept to encourage consumers to shop small and local.
From 2010 until 2018, shoppers and retailers seemed content with sales spanning Thanksgiving Thursday through Cybermonday.
Cyberweek has replaced Black Friday
It’s time to admit that Black Friday isn’t a thing anymore.
It is more accurate to talk about Cyberweek sales that stretch from the Monday before Thanksgiving to the Monday after Thanksgiving.
What does this mean for consumers?
Spreading out the deals over a longer period takes the pressure off, meaning you don’t have to spend the Friday after Thanksgiving running out to the mall or scrolling to shop online.
Goodbye Black Friday.
Welcome to Cyberweek.
About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
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