The History and Evolution of Holiday Shopping Days

Black Friday is almost here. Retailers will open in the wee hours of the morning the day after Thanksgiving (or late Thanksgiving night!) offering jaw-dropping deals.

But where did this Shopping Holiday come from? And where’s it going next?

Let’s take a step back in time and see…

LATE 1980s

The story goes that retailers who were operating “in-the-red” (losing money) all year would offer deep discounts in order to entice customers to purchase enough to take them “into the black” (turning a profit).

Holiday shoppers couldn’t resist the discounts and promotions, especially so close to the holiday season. Customers continued shopping these discounts in-store until the internet became commonplace.

2005 and Bizrate conducted a study in 2005 stating that 77 percent of online retailers saw a spike in sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving. In 2005, many online retailers created serious online discounts and promotions in order to capitalize on the effects of Black Friday. The study showed that consumers had faster, more secure internet connections at their office rather than at home, and were choosing to complete their holiday shopping from the comfort of their own desks. declared Monday, November 28, 2005 Cyber Monday.


Both brick and mortar and online retailers were capitalizing on the shopping frenzies of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but what about the local small business that we all know and love?

In 2010, American Express launched Small Business Saturday to encourage shoppers to support their small, local businesses during the holiday shopping season. And, in 2011, the United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution of support for the holiday. In 2016, shoppers reported spending over $15 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday.

While Black Friday has evolved over the years, no matter how you’re shopping, it’s important to have a plan.

After a long weekend of shopping the extreme sales, you’ve probably worked up an appetite. Stop by your local Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen to refuel and relax.

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