Is the tradition of Black Friday changing with the times?

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 11:21 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Black Friday has traditionally been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005. But, have times changed, along with traditions?

Some shoppers may be taking a holiday from that day after Thanksgiving tradition known as Black Friday.

But, the Super Walmart and Best Buy in Brooklyn, still appeared to be prepared for long lines with steel fences like barricades at one, and Black Friday deal shopping spots at the other.

However, unlike in years past, our 19 News camera saw could find no one waiting behind the steel barricades since Thanksgiving morning. No one setting up a tent for the night, and fighting to be the first to rush the doors for deals when they open almost 24 hours later.

“To me, Black Friday means stress and anxiety, and crowds,” a bystander told 19 News.

So, is Black Friday like the ghost of Christmas past? While some still like the rush of it all, and pushing through the crowd of shoppers, others say COVID and the ease of online shopping has changed things.

Christine Gall, the President of Rakuten Rewards, said consumer shopping has changed since the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot fewer of us are willing to go to the stores on Black Friday and battle people and use our elbows. Retailers are willing to let us shop over a longer period of time.”

The National Retail Federation estimates that in spite of inflation at the grocery store and the gas pumps, retail sales will exceed November and December sales from 2021 by 6 to 8%.

The National Retail Federation also predicts that 69% of people will shop online for Black Friday, an increase from 33% last year. While it’s expected 32% will shop Black Friday deals in person or in a store, that’s down by 9% from last year.