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Attention Getter: Imagine going home for Thanksgiving break. A time where it is appropriate for rest and relaxation. Where you are surrounded by family and friends eating delicious turkey. Unfortunately, over the last few decades, this isn’t the only thing associated with Thanksgiving. There is another holiday focused around shopping and deals. That holiday is Black Friday.
Benefits to the Audience: This speech will help you understand the commercialization of Black Friday and how it impacts the economy.
Thesis: Today, you will learn the history of Black Friday and understand its impact of the American population.
Preview: First I will discuss what Black Friday is and its beginning, then we will examine the impact of the day on United States consumers.
Transition: Let us begin by discussing how Black Friday began.
The word black before Friday has changed over time.
According to the New York Times on November 2017, the word “black” started off as a negative description for the day. The article continues by explaining that the word “black” has described many days in history when there was a financial disaster connected to it.
Within the New York Times, November 2017 article, “Black Monday was the sell-off the day before the stock market crash of 1929…” The original use of “black” before Friday was used by the Philadelphia police in the 1980s in Business Insider November 2018. Continued in the New York Times November 2018 article that the police were using this term to the hassle of the holiday shopping season.
The second meaning behind “black” before Friday was used for accounting purposes according to Business Insider November 2018. The article continues to explain that this single day could have retailers who were in the negative, could get back to making a profit for the year. When the company is making a profit, companies usually write the number in black. Since the 1980’s Black Friday has been a staple in America.
In a money article from November 2017, explains that black Friday has been occurring because it is now a family tradition for friends and family. This is usually was since most people had nothing to do the following day. The retail stores were open for business and this attracted customers. According to a Forbes November 2018 article, there were 165 million people who participated within holiday shopping. However, this is a slight drop from the 174 million shoppers last year according to Washington Post 2018. Even though there was a slight dip. Having over 100 million shoppers still makes this a good staple for America.
Transition: Now that we understand its origins, let’s talk about the impacts the holiday has.
Black Friday shopping has shifted from shopping in-store to shopping online. This shift has allowed for Americans to get their goods in multiple fashions. They are no longer required to go stand in line for the store to open but instead can enjoy their Thanksgiving with friends and family. Forbes November 2018 explained that $3.7 billion was conducted in online shopping on Black Friday. This is the equivalence to buying 3,700 new iPhone (AA).
In a TWICE: This Week in Consumer Electronics November 2018, 68 percent of consumers are going to be shopping online compared to the 22 percent that will shop in stores. With this figure, we see that the number of people shopping online is nearly triple those that go to the stores. It is safe to say that this is now the dominant mode of shopping since consumers do not need to go to physical stores. In Fortune November 2018, it is said that before Black Friday even began, online sales were at $1.75 billion. This is coming from the 80 online retailers. We can see that online shopping is a powerful force in Black Friday shopping and has allowed for stores to maximize profits.
The TWICE article, it continues to explain that online shopping allows for consumers to avoid stress. The article explains that 65% of shoppers experience stress due to the crowds. This would be the equivalent of 13 people in our classroom (AA) In order for the customers to avoid stress, they turn to online shopping, so they are still able to get the best deals while avoiding the stress at hand. They are able to shop from the comfort of their couches. Companies work all season to turn a profit and due to Black Friday, we see it occurring.
The Fortune article explains, that during this shopping holiday consumers are going to be looking for big-ticket items. Depending on the company, the items are varying. These big-ticket items allow companies to turn a profit and ensure they are able to make a profit. Apple’s big-ticket items are based in technology and Kohl’s big-ticket items are apparel.
One company that was able to use Black Friday for their benefit was Kohls according to Fortune November 2018. By the start of Black Friday Kohl’s had already seen a 3.44 percent increase in sales. For Kohl’s to compete with other businesses they expanded their stores to also include technology and household goods.
These gains and purchases of big-ticket items allow for the companies to make a profit. According to the Washington Post November 2018, it was seen that during the holiday season Television prices were dropping. The price of television during Black Friday dropped about 18 percent. With the prices of televisions dropping 18 percent it made them more affordable. Something that may seem like it is a stretch to get is just that much closer in reach. For example, a television costing $100, would then be priced at $82 for Black Friday. This may not seem like it is a lot of money, but when we talk about $1000 it is almost a savings of $100. (AA)
Review: Black Friday has come a long way since the 1980s. We have heard the history behind Black Friday and how it has impacted the economy through how we purchase and how big-ticket items help get companies out of the red.
Final Thought: So next time you go Black Friday shopping are you going to be waiting in lines on Thanksgiving or will you be getting your items off your phone?
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