Thanksgiving And Black Friday: The Good, The Bad, And Oh, The Ironic!

By ,

Photo Credit:'s AlexRaths

“While the commoners of America were down on their knees counting their blessings on a frosty, winter eve, the shops in the streets were lit up and still sheltering the merchants who had preoccupied themselves with a more sinister agenda — prepping their marts for one mammoth of a sale.” Wait, what?

Even though that sounds like an excerpt from some fancy American classic, it did little to not leave me brimming with the feeling of déjà vu. In fact, for any American citizen, the above mentioned scenario is pretty much relatable. Because, only in America do we fall on top of each other for the lowest of prices right after being thankful for what we have…

The aroma of the home cooked turkey, the sugariness of the cranberry sauce, and the splendor of a freshly baked pumpkin pie are typical to the Thanksgiving celebrations. On this day, thanks are offered by the masses to their family and close friends to appreciate their presence in one’s life. It is a day dedicated to the significance of having someone to love and cherish in your life. However, while there is still love and harmony in the air, there is a vile scheme that is being put to motion too… The Black Friday sale!

Here are some statistics to show you exactly how mammoth this one sales event has become.

  1. In 2021, shoppers spent $8.9B during the Black Friday sales.
  2. Around 155 million people shopped — 67 million people did it in stores while 88 million went for online shopping.
  3. While the overall spending, $8.9 billion — was lower than the previous year, $9 billion — the individual spending increased.
  4. Rising about 5%, an average shopper spent $430 compared to last year’s $410.
  5. Clothing, electronics, and home are the top 3 most popular categories with shoppers.
  6. On average, a shopper saves around 24% when buying through Black Friday discounts.
  7. There are no generational disparities among shoppers. The event is popular with Boomers as well as Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.
  8. Still, the most consumers that go online for Black Friday shopping are 25-34 years old.
  9. This year, too, reports predict that an astounding 76% of consumers would conclude the majority of their holiday shopping on Black Friday.
  10. Most people visit physical stores for Black Friday so they can enjoy it with friends and family, and also because of the general excitement attached to the event.

And now we have Cyber Monday too

Coined as the biggest online shopping day for American consumers, Cyber Monday is when retailers offer lavish online-exclusive discounts. It takes place on the Monday immediately following the Black Friday, and receives much love from the public.

  1. In 2020, this single-day event raked in $10.7 billion.
  2. This means, shoppers spent $12 million every minute for the entirety of the festival.
  3. Top categories that this money was spent on included toys, video games, and electronics.
  4. Ironically, this year was also where the discounts were the lowest. They were 12% for electronics (vs. 27% in 2019), 8% for appliances (vs. 20% in 2019), and 18% for apparel (vs. 20% in 2019). Shoppers lost in other categories, too.

But it didn’t matter. Consumers kept on adding items to their carts, which saw,

  1. In 2020, this single-day event raked in $10.7 billion.

Meanwhile In The Streets…

Kohl, Best Buy, JCPenney, Walmart, Target, Macy’s and Home Depot are amongst the most popular stores for Black Friday shopping. These stores throw at each other the fiercest of competition each year in the battle for lowest prices and greater sales turnover.

All of these retailers, at this time around the year, hold the bait out to lure in more customers.

Even though Black Friday became a shopping culture in America from as far back as it could be recalled, the idea of it is undeniably contradictory to that of Thanksgiving and the irony of it must not be ignored or overlooked. The two ideas coincide alarmingly and it is ironic how the susceptible masses have been falling prey to that.

Black Friday is a sale that the retail stores plan and prepare for the whole year. It has been ranked amongst the most lucrative events for the business community and a time of the year when the consumers end up spending the most.

And a lot of it can be attributed to the savvy, sentimental, and heart-warming marketing campaigns thought up by these brands.

Look at a few of them.

● Create Wonder in Your World — HP

In 2020, when you couldn’t go meet family and so many of us were left not only physically but emotionally alone too around the holidays, it was the impromptu parties at the balcony that kept so much of the holiday and community spirit alive.

● Make Someone’s Holiday — Apple

● In Dad’s Shoes — Macy’s

The video ad takes us into the mind of a little girl who, while trying on her dad’s shoes, wonders what he would want for christmas. As if by magic, the shows take her on a journey around town where she performs chores that her father does on a routine day. In the end, she realizes just how hard he works and finds a new appreciation for her father.

Watch the video to get the feels.

The YouGov Survey: Some Hope for Change

While the brands keep giving discounts and going on extensive sales, armored with the power of unfailing emotional marketing, do consumers even stand a chance?

Back in 2019, a poll demonstrated some surprising results regarding people’s feelings about the Black Friday event. This survey was carried out by YouGov/Huffington Post and involved around a 1000 US adults being interviewed and asked about their consumption behavior on Black Friday. The results that were drawn up from the survey indicated that a majority of Americans do not like to shop on Black Friday and are more comfortable with staying at home and enjoying their pie and turkey.

The survey did well to breathe some degree of sense into the festival of Thanksgiving. It indicated that the masses are willing to draw a clear line of demarcation between the two happenings. Else, the typical practice of going Black Friday shopping right after stuffing big chunks of turkey and pumpkin pie into one’s mouth and barely resting enough to let the food sit (let alone digest) is a practice that is not unheard of. With the businesses becoming more profit oriented and fiercely competitive, it will be a notion worth sleeping on that the consumer behavior will set right the concepts gone wrong.

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.