Nearly every American knows all of the calendar holidays and celebrates them religiously. There’s Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and…Black Friday (before Christmas and Hanukah, of course). Black Friday is every retail owner’s dream, and every sales clerk’s worst nightmare. I made the mistake of going to Target at 2 p.m. on Friday, and was literally whacked in the face by a middle-aged woman’s shopping bag. (I hope it was accidental.)
Black Friday at Toys “R” Us was worse, though: “line-jumping and scuffling” caused arrests early Friday morning at the store in Greensboro, North Carolina. Watch it here.
But a recent Newsweek article suggests that “Cyber Monday” will soon replace the insanity of Black Friday. Nearly 45 percent of retailers estimate an increase in 2009 online holiday shopping by at least 15 percent from last year. And these corporations are making good on their prediction: in a survey by the Web site Shop.org, nine of 10 online businesses planned to offer a promotion of sorts on Monday, from one-day sales to free shipping. So naturally, they’re not waiting around for people to visit their site. Retailers like Amazon.com are using Twitter and Facebook to point shoppers toward online benefits. Toys “R” Us even sent its Facebook fans an announcement on Wednesday proclaiming Black Friday specials.
So what do you think? Will the hustle and bustle of Black Friday stay strong as ever, or is online shopping the new face for retail? Will you reconsider fighting crowds next Black Friday in favor of your comfy sweats and laptop? I know I will.