How Black Friday Lost its Mojo
But does it matter if Black Friday fades if the shopping season gets peanut-buttered around over several other days? I think it does. One side effect of all of this discount jockeying is that customers lose a call to action. In past years, shoppers could be confident that Black Friday deals were likely to be the best of the season. But this isn’t the case anymore. Dire discounts and once-taboo discussions over how early to open on Thanksgiving revealed that retailers are hungry. Rather than marking the starting point of the shopping season and the best deals of the year, this year Black Friday marked a “meh” sort of midpoint to a season that many consumers believe will yield better discounts by year-end.
Will retailers change their ways after learning this year that more is not better? Probably not. Retailers are now stuck in a discounting prisoner’s dilemma. It’s in the best interests of retailers to return to the practice of making Black Friday weekend a once a year blow-out event that provides the best discounts and generates purchase-propelling excitement. However, each retailer also has an incentive to “cheat” by offering discounts in advance.