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November 25, 2011

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Joe Murphy

An interesting analysis of the current state of the day. For some historical perspective, though, consider that the OED tracks the phrase Black Friday back to 1961. (From Philadelphia cops complaining about the traffic jams, in fact.) So there's a weight of "tradition" which your explanation doesn't address. (Tradition can motivate a heck of a lot... nearly as much as fear.)

I think it's also interesting that "Cyber Monday" seemed to have such a short run, as online shops have started to buy into the "Black Friday" holiday instead of maintaining their own date. (Which was predicated on the idea that a vast chunk of shoppers only had Internet access at work...)

Erica

Hm. I plan to support small businesses on Saturday by shopping in downtown Oakland for (largely) artisanal gifts. Not because I fear the internet, but because I love the physical experience of a vibrant downtown. Love of one doesn't imply rejection of the other. And while it clashes with my personal sensibilities, I can believe that some feel the same way about shopping malls as I do about local stores.

Steven Kaye

Haven't dug into stats for Black Friday shopping over the years (the latest NRF release talks about Black Friday weekend), but this suggests it's not a matter of Internet OR f2f:

http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=1251

You're also ignoring the "buy local" and "eat local" movements, emphasis on walkable cities, the rise of geolocation (Gowalla, Foursquare, Twitter) and geofencing (Flickr) as well as the mundane use of 3/4G or Internet to locate the nearest retail outlet or ATM.

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