How Black Friday has evolved over the years

The holiday is becoming less about one day, but deals over the course of days
Black Friday continues to evolve with the shift to online shopping
Black Friday continues to evolve with the shift to online shopping(Andres Fuentes)
Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 4:40 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Amidst the pandemic, the retail industry has been turned upside down, with business owners adapting to new norms.

Kristin McGrath of RetailMeNot says businesses have adjusted to recent hurdles by changing their approach to Black Friday.

“I don’t think Black Friday is dead, it’s just really changing and evolving,” she said. “It’s really no longer limited to a day, it’s really morphed into this month long marathon of savings.”

According to McGrath, these changes have been brewing for years but decisions like putting more emphasis online versus in-store on Black Friday have been accelerated thanks to the pandemic.

“In-store events were taking a back seat to online shopping even before the pandemic. 2020, from an in-store perspective, was really subdued for Black Friday and we’re kind of seeing the lingering effects this year,” said McGrath.

“It’s just not a good look to be cramming customers and staff into stores on Thanksgiving. Retailers are really having to reinvent what in-store Black Friday looks like.”

Erin Phillips, who owns Fashion 15 in Twin Falls, echoes this notion and says the safety of her customers and staff is a top priority.

“That’s why we’ve also tried to spread out our events as well,” she said. “In the years past, we would’ve done everything on Black Friday and we would’ve had 200 people in line, but obviously with COVID, it’s still a real thing and we want it to be safe.”

While Phillips’ store is fully staffed at the moment, she says she has constantly been pivoting in order to ensure her inventory levels have been satisfactory not only for Black Friday, but throughout the entire holiday rush.

“Obviously there’s a lot of things that are being held up in the ports. It’s across the board, it doesn’t matter which industry you’re in,” said Phillips. “We’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve been able to find the right kind of product for Black Friday and for our events.”

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