While the “Official Holiday Shopping Season” (Blk Fri-Xmas) as such may have lost its mojo, forever, there still are
many magical holiday dates/markers. Please see below. The “official”, BF’s roots for holiday shopping purposes
can easily be traced to the late 1800s/early 1900s when Thxgvng parades “kicked off” the Xmas’ shopping
season. In 1939 retailers wanted more shopping days b-4 Xmas, to which an agreeing FDR moved Thxgvng to
the 3
rd Th of Nov. Traditionalists were outraged at “Franksgiving”, so the 4
th Th of Nov was reinstalled. The
term BF has been traced to the huge traffic jams & overcrowded sidewalks past these parades where police found
the crowds so nightmarish that they began referring to the day as “Black Friday”. Eventually, merchants who
despised their biggest (or one of their biggest) sales days being called Blk anything changed its meaning. BF
accordingly, was reinterpreted as that time of yr when they (retailers) were finally able to convert their “red ink”
into “black ink”. Today, BF is little else than the PATRON SAINT of THE shopping season as it has morphed into
BF Wknd & BF Wk & competes with Small Biz Sat and Cyber Mon etc for $$ and buzz. Whether it starts
11/1 or in mid Sept, the theme of BF starts when retailers & customers say GO!
Holidays /
2015 About the Holidays
Getting a head start on the holiday shopping market, Amazon help Prime Day boasting “Better deals
than Black Friday”. Amazon reported selling 47,000 TVs & 41,000 Bose headphones this day.
(7/15 –
The average family spent $630.36 on BTS shopping this year, down from $669.28 last year. Coupons
and promos are a helping hand for BTS shopping, as they influenced 51.3% of purchases this year.
Total spending is expected to top $24B according to the NRF.
H-WEEN (10/31)
The NRF estimated $6.9 B in “spooky” spending, this yr which is less than the $7.4 B in 2014. Adult &
children H-WEEN costume spending was estimated at $2 B with $350 M being spent on PETS! 20 M
pet owners will H-WEEN with their furry friends. (NRF) On 11/1 holiday shelves start filling.
SINGLES DAY (11/11) Started in 2009, it is Blk Fri in China. Alibaba Group matched last year’s total of $9.3B in just 12 hrs,
and totaled just under $13B. (The Guardian) Singles Day is 11/11 because the number 1 is repeated.
THXGVNG Eve (11/25) Bigger than St. Pattys Day or NYE, T-Day Eve is known for the biggest bar night of the yr, due to the
large majority of Americans that do not work on T-Day.
WED (11/25)
Blk Friday of pizza industry is just b-4 Thxgvng. Pizza Hut unveiled its new Triple Treat Box on
11/9. In 2013 Pizza Hut estimated selling over 1.2 M pizzas. (QSR) In 2012 Pizza Hut reported
delivering around 1,200 tons of pizza. (Restaurants.com)
THXGVNG (11/26)
Roughly 51 M turkeys will be eaten on T-Day, part of the $2.8 B spent for THXGVNG. (Statistic
Brain) On average a T-Day dinner for 10 costs $50.11, an increase from last yr’s $49.41 (American
Farm Bureau Federation). Shoppers spent $1.73 B online on T-Day ’15, up 25% from last yr.
Discounts on avg were 26%. (Adobe)
BLK FRI (11/27)
This year about 205M people shopped either in stores or online on Blk Fri bringing in $12.1B in sales.
(CNBC) The avg customer order this year was $127.84 down from 2014 ($129.37) (IBMCommerce)
BF has become BF Wknd and even BF Wk.
SAT (11/28)
SBS is the holiday that gives local stores a boost in sales during the crazy time of Blk Fri and Cyber
Mon. Over 95 M people spent $16.2 B at small businesses around the country. An 8% increase in
shoppers and a 14% increase in sales vs 2014.
M.D. Bernacchi, PhD, JD
Prof. of Mkt, UDM
(313) 993-1116
Vol 25 Iss 105
Wed or
Post-holiday Mons are very busy; AAA predicted 46.9 M people will travel 50 miles or more for
Thanksgiving, a 0.6% increase from 2014. 3.6M flew. From 2012-2014 Chicago O’Hare has the
worst avg % of T-Day week flight delays of 42.6%, Dallas/Fort Worth #2 at 41%, and
Washington D.C./Dulles #3 at 40.4% (MarketWatch)
CYBER MON (11/30)
Cyber Mon began in 2005, and this year brought in $3.1B. That’s a 21% increase from 2014.
Amazon and Wal-Mart were the top 2 most visited retailer sites. (ComScore) This year consumers
avg order value was $123.43. Shoppers on a computer ($128.00) spent more on avg than those on a
tablet ($124.14) or smartphone ($102.02). (IBMCommerce)
Green Tues’ founder John Metro of GreenDeals.org wants to promote eco-friendly shopping. The
holidays have had no measurable impact yet. Green Tue competes with #GIVINGTUES for attn. The 4
yr old tradition promotes “giving” (charities & righteous causes). Google hopped on the bandwagon
looking to increase the amount given from 2014’s $26.1M. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
St NICKS DAY (12/6) This European Xmas is about St. Nick rather than gifting. His heroism and kindness are legendary.
“Good kids” receive treats & sweets in their shoes on 112/6.
(12/6 –
The Festival of Lights comes early this year, right on the heels of THXGVNG. Manishewitz (#1 US
maker of processed kosher food will have some great deals.) Small gifts are exchanged for 8 days.
Traditionally over the past 5 yrs, 2 wks b-4 XMAS is the best time to purchase name brand TVs. Deals
are usually 30%-40% discounted on brands such as Samsung, Sony, Vizio, & Panasonic. (RatherBe-Shopping.com)
SuperBowl time though is BEST for Big Screen TV buying.
“MAIL EARLY” (12/15)
Recommended stnd shipping rate for holiday gifts is 12/15 (USPS) for 15.5 B cards, shipments & pkgs.
The USPS will also hire about 30,000 holiday workers to fill the need. UPS estimates they will ship
630M packages this holiday, and FedEx predicts they will deliver 317M, up 12.4% over 2014. On
12/11/15 the WSJ noted that UPS was struggling b/c of very strong online sales.
A 1 day shopping event. Participants offer “free shipping” with delivery by Xmas Eve. 676 merchants
are participating so far (including Wal-Mart & Target) with the specific days and offers to be revealed
on 12/18 (Freeshippingday.com). It is also the BEST day to buy clothing apparel & kitchen products
according to Rather-Be-Shopping.com. Many sites will have coupons and promotions. 12/18 Star
Wars opens, it is projected to earn b/t $170 M – $220 M opening weekend. (RealityToday.com)
$UPER $AT (12/19)
$uper $at is the last Sat b-4 Xmas. It essentially is Blk Fri for procrastinators. The rising popularity of
Super Saturday is evident by the fact that it overthrew Black Friday in 2014 as the busiest shopping
day of the year. (Techinsider)
Dec 23 is the ABSOLUTE last day to send anything for h-day shopping for Xmas receipt. Priority Mail
Express required for the increased shipping speed & will cost MORE! (A normal 10 x 5 letter will cost
$5.75 just to send through service and it only goes up with size & weight considered…OUCH!) Last Min
Shoppers! Dec 23rd was a bigger shopping day than BF in 2014. (MasterCard)
XMAS EVE (12/24)
LAST SECOND SHOPPERS! Last ditch effort to buy gifts spiked by online mobile gifts & store searches.
Last second shoppers want better deals from retailers eliminating stock (NY Post). Starbucks sold over
2 M gift cards on the Eve ’13. Approximately 1,500 cards a minute! 1 in 8 American adults will receive a
Starbucks gift card as a holiday present. (Starbucks.com) 5% of consumers shopped till the last
minute in 2014. (SAS)
BOXING DAY (12/26)
The day after Xmas is Boxing Day in the Commonwealth. It’s an OLD English tradition to gift servants
with small boxe$ of $$. (In Canada BD is its BF. In the US Xmas Returns, Gift Card Spending and
After Xmas Sales, begin). Boxing Day is celebrated in GRT BRT and in English settled areas (the U.S.
is an exception). CA, AUS, and NZ are included. (factmonster.com). As mentioned, Boxing Day is a
key US shopping day b/c of gift card redemption, gift returns and post Xmas sales.
K-ZAA (12/26-
Invented by Dr. Maulana Karenga (1966). It’s a 6 day non-comm’l Afr-Am harvest fest of Blk Culture.
Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning “first fruits of the harvest”.
New Year’s
Eve (12/31)
NYE is one of the biggest nights for celebration around the world. It is also the busiest night for some
cab companies. Last NYE, Uber estimated over 2 M rides on NYE, and a revenue projected at $100 M.
Commonly known as 3 Kings’ Day. Celebrates the 3 Wise Men’s visit to baby Jesus. It’s the LAST DAY
of the 12 Days of Xmas (some Latin American countries extend it to 40 days) when the 3 Kings (from
Orient) arrived in Bethlehem. It’s called “Little Xmas.” (Observed in most of the Church’s Eastern Rite
nations & some Western Rite countries.) Public holiday in Virgin IS.
END- It’s OVA (1/31) Jan 31st ends the holiday shopping season. For the yr 2014, the avg daily spending per person in Dec
was $98 whereas for Jan it was 81$ per person. (Gallup Poll consumer-spending)

About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or bernacmd@udmercy.edu. Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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