Can you ever really abandon Black Friday?

In years past, Black Friday was the shopping holiday of all shopping holidays: the one day when folks flocked to the shelves to scoop up good deals. But things have changed, of course, and now every single day is Black Friday for many shoppers. In an ever-increasing world, however, is the digital shopping phenomenon of Black Friday?

While it may be considered older than the proverbial hill of beans (the date of Black Friday is November 27, according to Slate), a number of major companies (both big and small) are planning for a time when their digital holiday deals will span the year. And although the long-running shopping holiday may not quite have the cultural cachet it had in its early years, Black Friday is still expected to see an increase in its sales figures in the coming year.

Given the commercial benefits of a mega shopping day, the choice of when and where it lands on the calendar is being hotly debated. Meanwhile, e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Wal-Mart are rolling out multiple early promotions, including “Lightning Deals” and “Free Shipping Days.” Amazon also announced this week that they will open at midnight on Black Friday. Meanwhile, Target’s third annual holiday lights drive-thru party will take place on Tuesday, November 13.

Which holiday stands out more: Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday? Are the preferences of the American consumer truly changing?

The Atlantic

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