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What Black Friday and Cyber Monday Means to Retailers

Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, and Cyber Monday, the following Monday, haven't been around for all that long but are 2 of the biggest days of the year for retailers. The reason is that many people all over the country are given the day off after Thanksgiving (except those working in the retail stores naturally) and thus have the time to shop all day long. Because of this many retailers make as much as 20% of their profits for the entire year on this one day alone!

Cyber Monday is similar although everyone has already gone back to work by then. Nevertheless it's become a huge day for sales online as the vast majority of Americans have access to the internet and can make purchases from their computers, tablets and smart phones.

On both days retailers have 'special deals' that are super cheap and this is the 'bait' that they use to lure shoppers to their retail stores or to their websites. These special deals are called 'loss leaders' which means that, even if the store doesn't make a profit on them, they bring customers in who will then shop and buy other items. In that way they can afford to lose money on a few items because, in the end, they sell many more items at regular prices.

Since its inception in 1975 in Philadelphia Black Friday has grown every year until around 2005 when it was proclaimed to be the actual busiest shopping day of the year. Retailers have been known to have a 'good' year or a 'bad' year financially all because of this one day and so it has gained high importance for many of them.

Cyber Monday has only been around for a few years in comparison but has grown very big very fast as electronics have become ultra-popular as well as online shopping. Again it's one of the biggest shopping days of the year and, along with Black Friday, makes up the bulk of the sales during the Christmas / Holiday shopping season.

More recently, Black Friday has been exported to nations outside of North America such as the United Kingdom by major online retailers like Amazon and Apple. In 2011, IBM reported online Black Friday sales were up 24.3% according to a study that included 500 retailers. In 2012, after two years of disappointing results, several department stores in Brazil joined their foreign competitors in a successful Black Friday which more than doubled the total revenue in comparison to the previous year.