Black Friday, the traditional start to the holiday shopping season, has lost its frenetic edge as holiday sales promotions creep into Thanksgiving, and some stores plan to open on Thanksgiving Day. Retailers such as Amazon and Target are offering deals even earlier than Black Friday. Also, Cyber Monday, the Monday after the first holiday sales weekend, has become a prime shopping day, as online shopping has surged at the expense of brick-and-mortar retailers.
Even so, Black Friday should still be the busiest shopping day of the Thanksgiving Day weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. The retailer association expects 115 million people to shop that day, according to a survey released on Tuesday. That estimate is still well above the 78 million who plan to shop on Cyber Monday.
While the shift to online shopping has disrupted the retail industry, many retailers still rely on foot traffic. In the U.S., an estimated 3.8 million retail establishments support around 42 million jobs. To generate big sales and keep people employed, stores pitch on Black Friday so-called doorbuster deals and other offers not available during the rest of the year.