Is Black Friday a myth? Local business experts weigh in on if you'll really only save on Friday

Posted at 11:52 AM, Nov 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-22 11:52:20-05

What do we say today? Happy Black “Thursday" to you? That alone brings up another question: Are there too many savings before the actual Black Friday to make the day more of a myth than reality?

"What has become Black Friday is really 3 weeks of Black Friday,” said Dr. Elad Granot who is the Dean of the College of Business and Economics at Ashland University.

And he's right about that. We've already seen the Black Friday deals online and even in our emails saying, “Hey! Black Friday is here!”

“All of us are doing the research. All of us know what's out there,” said Dr. Granot. That's what money-savers do…research. And while online, we buy online.

Shoppers are not necessarily flooding stores like years ago. It's still a thing, though. “$717 billion are going to be spent this year alone on Black Friday, said Dr. Richard Klein from Cleveland State University’s Urban Affairs and Business Colleges. That’s a ton of cash. It's more than the GDP of dozens of countries. However, we have seen a waning interest recently. "In 2017, there was roughly an 8 percent drop in those people who shopped Black Friday versus the year before,” Dr. Klein explained.

You can blame the lack of store foot traffic on the internet and other things like a term Dr. Granot coined just recently: ”Pretail.” It’s when you try on a shirt in a store and see how it fits or look at a TV in person. “If the store charges more than online, what you've just done is you've "pretailed".  You've gone to the retail setting to preview something that you'll buy later online,” said Dr. Granot.

Dr. Klein still sees the experience value of Black Friday. "There's a certain excitement of going out and seeing the Christmas displays that exist in many stores,’ he told us.

However, aside from the physical and emotional aspects of Black Thursday/Friday/Week, the exclusive Black Friday deals that you won't see any other times of the year will be hard to find.

And lots of shoppers are "just looking" maybe just “pretailing."  “Many of us do that and many of the retailers, especially brick-and-mortar need to understand that and maybe be a little bit more competitive," said Dr. Granot.

As far as saving money, watch for special deals like Best Buy where if you sign up for a best buy credit card, you get 10% off your purchase and for each dollar spent. you can get money back for future purchases.

Target, TJMax, Costco, and others do that, too.