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Shoppers, Start Your Engines


There are so many things to love about the holidays. From spending time with family you love but see only once or twice a year to breaking out some of your favorite recipes, it’s easy to get caught up in the magic of the holiday season. One thing that is sure to happen in November? Shopping. In fact, there are three separate days dedicated to shopping during this month.

Black Friday: The day after Thanksgiving is widely celebrated as “Black Friday.” There are a lot of rumors as to how the day after Thanksgiving began sporting this name. One of the most popular stories dates back many years and goes something like this: After an entire year of operating at a loss (“in the red”), many stores would stand to earn huge profits (“in the black”) on the day after Thanksgiving. This was because holiday shoppers would spend quite a bit of money on post-Thanksgiving deals and discounted merchandise. While this story isn’t necessarily accurate, it gives an interesting explanation of how Black Friday turned into the discounted shopping extravaganza that it is today. In fact, Black Friday led to the birth of several other shopping holidays. According to the last pre-holiday survey by the National Retail Federation, an estimated 135.8 million Americans definitely plan to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend (58.7 percent of those surveyed).

Small Business Saturday: Another post-Thanksgiving holiday dedicated to shopping, Small Business Saturday is one of the busiest shopping days of the entire year. It is a relatively new holiday, having been first observed on November 27, 2010. While the aforementioned Black Friday certainly leans toward big box retail stores, Small Business Saturday focuses on the smaller mom and pop stores, encouraging shoppers to “shop local.”  It was American Express who created and sponsored the original day.

Cyber Monday: Don’t like the crowds? This shopping day is for you! Cyber Monday is a holiday coined by Shop.org (a division of NRF) following a 2004 research study that found the Monday after Thanksgiving was among the most popular online shopping days of the year. “Seventy-seven percent of online retailers said that their sales increased substantially on the Monday after Thanksgiving, a trend that is driving serious online discounts and promotions on Cyber Monday this year,” NRF stated. Much like Black Friday, huge deals and discounts can be found among online giants including Amazon.

Whether you enjoy finding deals at big box retailers like Walmart, shopping local, or just shopping online, there is a November shopping day for you! No matter where you find yourself shopping this holiday season, always remember to exercise caution. Check your bank statements regularly for signs of unusual activity and never leave packages in your car or out on your porch for extended periods of time. Happy shopping!

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