Weekly Warm-Up: Five New Traditions for Black Friday

Black Friday is undergoing change, and the geography of holiday shopping is changing with it.

With more consumers shopping online, mega-retailers are adapting their Black Friday strategies to make the most of America’s favorite day to spend, and local businesses are using social media to stay relevant. From extending shopping hours to eliminating credit cards, the Black Friday extravaganza extends the spectrum of human geography.

This week’s Weekly Warm-Up spotlights several new traditions to consider for your holiday shopping.

Small Business Saturday supports local businesses, like this one in Chesterton, Indiana.Photograph by GKChest, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

Small Business Saturday supports local businesses, like this one in Chesterton, Indiana.
Photograph by GKChest, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

1. Small Business Saturday is November 25: Initiated in 2010 by American Express, this localized approach to holiday shopping helps support community-based economies across the nation. Last year (in 2016), small business owners generate an estimated $15.4 billion on Small Business Saturday. Interestingly enough, Facebook has played a major role in the success of Small Business Saturday because it provides free and socially engaging advertising for the effort. Make this holiday shopping season the best one yet by starting a new Black Friday tradition and supporting your local economy!  Check out: Facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday

What are some local businesses in your area? Are they going to be open on Small Business Saturday?

 

Cyber Monday encourages consumers to shop online the Monday after Thanksgiving.Photograph by HebiFot, courtesy Pixabay

Cyber Monday encourages consumers to shop online the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Photograph by HebiFot, courtesy Pixabay

2. Cyber Monday is November 27: Created by Shop.org in 2005, Cyber Monday was created to support e-commerce. According to the National Retail Federation (Shop.org’s parent organization), consumers plan to spend up to $409 billion online during the 2015 holiday season. Consumers can expect roughly nine out of 10 “e-tailers” to offer deals on Cyber Monday (the Monday following Thanksgiving), making it one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.

Where are your favorite places to shop online? Will you be doing any online shopping on Cyber Monday?

 

Protesters encourage consumers to "Stop Shopping and Start Living" on Buy Nothing Day in San Francisco, California. Buy Nothing Day falls on Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving and the traditional start to the holiday shopping season. Photograph by Lars Aronsson, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-SA-1.0

Protesters encourage consumers to “Stop Shopping and Start Living” on Buy Nothing Day in San Francisco, California. Buy Nothing Day falls on Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving and the traditional start to the holiday shopping season.
Photograph by Lars Aronsson, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-SA-1.0

3. Buy Nothing Day is November 24: Originating in Mexico in 1992, the Buy Nothing Day we know today was officially moved to coincide with Black Friday in 1997.  Buy Nothing Day is an internationally celebrated protest of consumerism that includes activities such as credit card cut-ups, free street parties, public protests, community clothing exchanges, and more.

What do you think are good ways to celebrate Buy Nothing Day? Are you going be celebrating Buy Nothing Day, Black Friday, or neither?

 

Many retailers, like this one, open early on Thanksgiving—nicknamed "Black Eve" ahead of Black Friday.Photograph by Powhusku, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-2.0

Many retailers, like this one, open early on Thanksgiving—nicknamed “Black Eve” ahead of Black Friday.
Photograph by Powhusku, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-2.0

4. “Black Eve” is November 23: If hitting the stores before sunrise is a non-negotiable part of your holiday itinerary, then “Black Eve” might be an exciting new tradition for you. Many retail stores open their doors starting at midnight on Thanksgiving, and some have elected to call the new shopping opportunity Black Eve.

Do you go shopping on Thanksgiving? Do you know any consumers who are ready to shop before the sun is up on Black Friday?

 

The Grand Central Holiday Fair is held each year in Vanderbilt Hall of New York City's gorgeous Grand Central Terminal. Photograph by Patrick Cashin and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York. CC BY 2.0

The Grand Central Holiday Fair is held each year in Vanderbilt Hall of New York City’s gorgeous Grand Central Terminal.
Photograph by Patrick Cashin and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York. CC BY 2.0

5. Fair Trade & Local Holiday Market Events: These are a great way to connect with your community and feel good about your purchases during the height of holiday spending. Every year, the Fair Trade Federation publishes a holiday gift guide to make conscience shopping easy and accessible. To enjoy the action live, you can find a holiday market in your local community. Here in Washington D.C., an annual Downtown Holiday Market offers unique gifts, specialty foods, and more in a farmers’ market-style set-up.

Where are local holiday markets in your area? Are they indoor or outdoor? What types of goods and services are offered?

Former Nat Geo Intern Julia Guard wrote this post way back in 2011, and it’s just as relevant today!

2 responses to “Weekly Warm-Up: Five New Traditions for Black Friday

  1. Pingback: 11 Things We Learned This Week | Nat Geo Education Blog·

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