Black Friday isn't what it used to be...The best days of the year for deals

Black Friday isn't what it used to be. The best day of the year for deals will be... 

Bottom Line: Black's Friday name is rooted in something that doesn't even reflect what it became over the years. Black Friday the day that most retailers become profitable for the year. The first use of the term for commercialization of Christmas and holiday shopping was in the New York Times in 1975. We know what's happened since. But in the online age with many doing as much or more shopping online as in stores. The specific day/timing of those sales doesn't matter near as much.  

Last year just over 10% of adults shopped in stores on "Black Friday" and this year according to Price Water House Coopers only 10% intend to do so. That's a 24% decline over just three years ago. The single biggest change are demographics. Not only are younger adults more likely to shop online as compared to stores - they're far less likely to shop in store on Black Friday. By a near 2-1 margin they intend to shop online on Black Friday. 70% of adults sampled said they intended to wait until after Black Friday to obtain what they believe will be even better deals.  

So, about the two best days of the holiday season (and year) for the best deals? Last year's results aren't guaranteed to equal this year's outcomes but if they do here's what you'll find... 

Best deals for in-store shopping: Thanksgiving Day. Yes, for those who took to stores after dinner looking for deals they found them. Better than on Black Friday.  

Best deals for online shopping: December 12th last year & what would equal the 11th this year. Two weeks prior to Christmas. Just as Black Friday wasn't as good as Thanksgiving Day. Cyber Monday wasn't as good as the two-week warning before Christmas. Some people have started calling this "green Monday" but the bottom line is that at the two-week mark before Christmas retailers that need to make a final push online have been doing it in recent years. It's often right at the end of the window to safety keep promises of delivery in time for the holidays and retailers know where they stand and what they need to move. So, there you have it. And as a reminder please patronize small businesses on Small Business Saturday this week. Data on the best deals for small and local companies isn't as transparent as their larger counterparts buts there's plenty of evidence that the deals are better on Small Business Saturday and small businesses are the glue that keep our communities together. 

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