Thanksgiving is killing Black Friday by replacing it

Thanksgiving is killing Black Friday by replacing it

walmart black friday

AP/Gunnar Rathbun

  • Online shopping has enabled Black Friday to start earlier than ever.
  • Black Friday is no longer just creeping into Thanksgiving, but now even the Wednesday before.
  • Thanksgiving shopping itself has surged online this year, projected to grow 29% over last year.
  • Many deals were out of stock before Black Friday even began.
  • It's clearer than ever before that Thanksgiving has become the official kickoff to the holiday season - not Black Friday itself.

Black Friday is traditionally considered the kickoff to the holiday shopping season.

After all, it's the Friday after Thanksgiving, when shoppers realize they need to get a move on and stores offer big sales. The stores began opening up in the afternoon on Thanksgiving, which came to be known as Black Friday creep.

That's still happening, with many stores opening as early or earlier than ever before this year.

But now the proliferation of online shopping has blown the doors off of Black Friday creep. Thanksgiving has now completely replaced Black Friday as the kickoff to holiday shopping season, at least online.


Advances in online shopping technology and the proliferation of smartphones on a hectic day have lead to a dramatic sales increase this year in Thanksgiving.

Sales also started earlier than ever, with Walmart kicking off its online deals at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, and Amazon had its own sales the entire week before.

For many online stores, the sales switch flipped at midnight Wednesday.

Also read:Walmart says it's offering thousands more deals than last year on Cyber Monday in a direct shot at Amazon's most valuable day

That's lead to a dramatic and unprecedented growth in online sales on Thanksgiving. Shoppers are predicted to spend a record $3.7 billion by midnight, according to Adobe Analytics.


That's up a whopping 29% when compared to 2017. That's a far larger increase than the growth expected for Black Friday and Cyber Monday: 17.2% and 17.6% growth year over year, respectively.

Much of the growth has come from smartphones, which shoppers are using with increasing frequency, especially on Thanksgiving, according to Adobe. This year, smartphones have accounted for 36.7% of all sales, up substantially over the 29.1% share in 2017.

As usual, online doorbusters have limited stock by the nature of the steep discount. With the deals starting so much earlier thank Black Friday, many deals stores have been hyping up were out of stock a full 24-hours before Black Friday.

It's clearer than ever before that Thanksgiving has become the official kickoff to the holiday season in the minds of consumers and retailers - not Black Friday itself.

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