The year 2019 may officially mark the death of Black Friday.
Black Friday as a standalone day of shopping had already been undercut by the emergence in the mid-2000 of Cybermonday. 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.
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.
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.
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:
- Furniture startup Joybird is taking 35% off during Cyberweek.
- Washington, DC-based menswear startup Hugh and Crye is offering 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, is offering 20% off sitewide during Cyberweek with code BF2019.
- Madewell, the upscale womenswear brand that spun off from J. Crew, is offering 30% off purchases during Cyberweek with code GIFTWELL.
For many more examples, check out my much longer list of favorite Black Friday sales by innovative clothing, footwear and lifestyle brands.
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 means 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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