Black Friday comes early and on many days for some retailers
November 18, 2015 04:50 PM
The day after Thanksgiving is only 24 hours long, but some online retailers are stretching the shopping event known as Black Friday to a week—or more.
Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, is offering eight straight days of online deals starting Friday. The online retailer isn’t rolling out all of its deals at once, however. Amazon will promote new deals as often as every five minutes throughout the sale. The bulk of the deals announced by the company Wednesday are consumer electronics items, with a heavy emphasis on audio-visual gifts such as televisions and headphones.
This is the second year in a row that Amazon has spread out the savings over a longer period, although last year the company got an even earlier start, beginning its Black Friday deals on Nov. 1.
Scot Wingo, executive chairman of ChannelAdvisor, which assists companies selling on Amazon Marketplace and other such venues, says Amazon’s getting a head start on the online sales holiday likely means other retailers are about to start following.
“Since Amazon has such a wide selection of products on its site, it's a big deal anytime the company announces a promotion,” he says. “Retailers that haven't started offering Black Friday-like promotions risk falling behind.”
Amazon isn’t alone when it comes to spreading out day-after-Thanksgiving savings. Home improvement retail chain Lowe’s Cos. Inc. (No. 36 in the Top 500) on Wednesday began offering what it calls Black Friday deals online. Home appliance and consumer electronics retailer hhgregg Appliances Inc. (No. 255) is advertising Black Friday deals all month long on its website. Likewise, online electronics retailer Newegg Inc. (No. 17) is running a “Black November” promotion, offering Black Friday-esque savings on a number of products.
Wingo says while online retailers are continue to spread out the savings, the Monday after Thanksgiving remains the most important day in online retailing.
“Last year, retailers started their holiday promotions earlier than previous years, which caused an unusual acceleration in sales on the days leading up to Cyber Monday,” he says. “However, Cyber Monday still produced the largest volume of sales of any day during the 2014 holidays. According to Adobe, Cyber Monday is on track to hit $3 billion in sales for the first time ever this year.”