Black Friday has been an American exclusive since the 1930s, until 2009 when the Canadian dollar was at par with the U.S. and many crossed the border for deep discounts.
Canadian retailers wanted a piece of that pie and decided they would fight fire with fire offering their own Black Friday discounts to keep shoppers north of the border.
The problem is the two countries, and sales, are very different animals.
First of all the U.S. does not celebrate Boxing Day, which was the equivalent of Black Friday, except it fell after Christmas.
Secondly, Black Friday is also part of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday weekend, therefore, people are off work to do nothing but shop, while for Canadians it’s just another Friday.
Black Friday has become a week, or even month-long event, so there is no real rush or hype to get involved. As a result, the discounts are often stretched over a longer period of time taking the novelty and excitement out of Black Friday. Maybe that’s why Americans can be a little more militant on the day than Canadians.
There is less time and the discounts are much more significant in the U.S. Experts say the day is losing traction as consumers become savvier and look to online sales for the real bargains.
Many predict it won’t be long before Cyber Monday outperforms Black Friday making the day insignificant. In other words, you will get all the discounts, without the riots.
But then again, is it really about the price, or the experience, bruises and all?
Scott Thompson is the host of the Scott Thompson Show on AM 900 CHML.
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