Black Friday is nearly upon us. Over the last few years, companies have been in an arms race to start their sales earlier and earlier in order to snag a greater share of the $68.6 billion consumers will spend over the Thanksgiving weekend. These sales can be incredibly enticing. Last year, many brands slashed prices by 30% to 40% during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
This year, the sales will look a bit different, as the pandemic continues to rage across the U.S. Historically, brick and mortar stores began their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving, but many have chosen to to remain closed until Friday to avoid large crowds, including Target, Walmart, and Best Buy. On the other hand, the National Retail Federation has noted that many retailers have been heavily pushing online deals and starting their sales as early as October to stretch out this promotional period.
It’s hard to say no to all the sales, especially since brands use psychological tactics to entice us to buy things we don’t need. But the pandemic has shifted some of our shopping behaviors for the better: There’s some evidence that we’re shopping more purposefully than before, investing in items we really need, rather than getting sucked into trends. So perhaps this is the year to change our relationship with Black Friday and shop more conscientiously.