The steady rise of Black Friday

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November 17, 2015 12:44 PM

Black Friday’s not a new phenomenon north of the border, but it’s one that some local business owners say is growing each year and is showing no sign of ever slowing.

Black Friday has been a day of massive sales in the U.S. for retailers big and small since the early 2000s and, as many crazes do, a few years later the trend started spilling into the Canada. 

This doesn’t appear to be a problem, however, as the country seems to be accepting the day with open arms, say retailers.

Ken Lawrence, owner and manager of Midwest Furniture, said his business was one of the first in Lloydminster to adopt the Black Friday sale about six years ago.

So far it’s been nothing but successful. 

“We actually had an amazing (first) year and I think we just realized we were missing the boat on the whole thing because the U.S. had been doing it a long time,” Lawrence said.

“It started off with such a bang that it’s pretty well stayed the same and it’s always been quite a lucrative day for us.”

Black Friday is recognized as the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. and is thought of as the official start of the Christmas holiday season. 
Because Thanksgiving in the U.S. falls on the fourth Thursday of November, and many non-retail workers and schools have the following Friday off, it makes for a four-day weekend ripe for shopping and hard-to-resist-sales.

There are no official holidays in Canada coinciding with the event, but the hype around the sale was, apparently, too much for Canadian retailers to resist, as a few years later Black Friday found its way into the Canadian consumerist culture.

“I would think it’s going to continue because you’re seeing lots of retailers — big box stores as well as independents as we are — jumping on that band wagon,” said Lawrence.

“There’s a lot of energy that goes into Black Friday from a lot of organizations and I think it will get progressively bigger here.”
Lawrence says the event was initially meant more for electronics, but nowadays prices get reduced on everything from furniture and mattresses to appliances and accessories.

Nearly every item at Midwest Furniture falls under some kind of Black Friday promotion and the only day that rivals in sales is Boxing Day.

Hot Peppers Clothing Co. has also been participating in the event, offering additional discounts and sales store wide on regular priced merchandise throughout the store.

Hot Peppers carries a range of brand name clothes for men, women and kids and manager Tricia Garrett says not only do customers love the sales, but management enjoys being able to give deals before Christmas. 
Garrett said she also agrees the popularity of Black Friday has been picking up momentum in Canada and believes it will likely keep progressing until it catches up to the furor it reaches in the States.

“Oh yeah, I think it’s just going to get bigger and bigger,” she said.
So despite Black Friday originating as a U.S. tradition, it might be safe to assume it’s in Canada to stay.

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