Here’s Why Savvy Shoppers Don’t Bother With Black Friday Anymore

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Guests wait for Black Friday sales before Target doors in Jersey City open on Nov. 24, 2016.
Guests wait for Black Friday sales before Target doors in Jersey City open on Nov. 24, 2016. Noah K. Murray/Invision for Target/AP Photo

Black Friday is coming. Are you ready?

Have you already packed a thermos, lawn chair and blankets to stake out a spot in line before your favorite store opens at the crack of dawn?

Or maybe you can skip the early wake-up call this year. Black Friday isn’t dead, but we’re over it.

“Consumers no longer have to wait until November to kick off holiday shopping,” said a PricewaterhouseCoopers report on holiday shopping.

The annual PwC report surveyed 2,395 consumers across the country. In 2015, 59% of those surveyed said they would shop on Black Friday. This year? Only 35% of people said they will shop on the occasion.

The PwC report also highlights how major shopping events have spread throughout the year, including Amazon’s Prime Day each July and its “35 Days of Deals” between Thanksgiving and the new year. Home Depot hosts a Spring Black Friday event. Dozens of other retailers host annual anniversary or friends-and-family sales that draw fans and deal-seekers.

That’s not to mention the impact Cyber Monday sales have had on distributing holiday weekend deals beyond Black Friday.

Black Friday Isn’t Worth the Rush Anymore

“The consumer has learned that even if they don’t get a deal on Black Friday, they’ll still get that deal in the weeks to come. There is no urgency anymore,” Stephen Barr of PwC told The Washington Post.

The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to increase over last year’s by about 3.6-4%, but the NRF also points out that 3 million fewer people shopped in brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving weekend last year. Instead, 5 million more people said they shopped online on Thanksgiving weekend last year.

See the issue here? We’re dividing and conquering the retail experience. Instead of crowding the malls on Black Friday, we’re sitting at home in our jammies refreshing the big-box store’s website to score the next deal.

With the expansion of our quest to find holiday weekend deals and a rejuvenated economy, more and more stores will stay closed on Thanksgiving day instead of opening in the evening for pre-Black Friday deals.

CBL Properties, which operates malls across the country, will close on Thanksgiving day for the second year running. Last year, we found more than 20 national retailers who would remain closed on Thanksgiving.

Will those stores open early the next morning, with doorbusters and special deals? Of course. But they’ll be back on Saturday with more. And again on Sunday.

Whichever day you’re looking for a deal, you’re going to find one, whether Christmas is two months away or just around the corner.

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.

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