Black Friday: A Nostalgic Tradition or Essential Holiday Shopping Event?
As the holiday season approaches, the familiar signs of Black Friday are starting to emerge. However, this year’s shopping landscape may look different, with businesses shifting their focus away from traditional Black Friday blowouts to instead prioritize unique gifts and exceptional customer service throughout the season.
With changes in consumer habits and the increasing popularity of online shopping, doorbuster deals and early opening hours may not be as enticing to shoppers as they once were. According to Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting, modern buyers are drawn to stores that offer an experience beyond just products.
Local businesses like Garden Argosy and Salty Stitch are embracing this shift by prioritizing ambiance, unique products, and extended hours during the holiday season. Garden Argosy, a gift and souvenir shop, will be running a 25 Days of Christmas series, featuring a different event on display from December 1st to December 25th. Similarly, Salty Stitch, a coastal apparel shop, is stocked with merchandise in anticipation of increased customer traffic and will be offering a 25% off storewide sale throughout the season.
While Black Friday sales are predicted to break records this year, the relevance of this shopping event is being called into question. The National Retail Federation reports that 58% of consumers plan to shop online this year, surpassing the popularity of department and discount stores. Additionally, 43% of consumers say they begin holiday shopping before November, indicating a shift in shopping habits.
As the holiday season approaches, businesses are reimagining the shopping experience, focusing on creating a unique and memorable experience for customers. While the nostalgia of Black Friday remains, the evolving shopping landscape suggests that the biggest shopping event of the year may not be as essential as it once was.