Contributed By:

Kate McMahon

Black Friday

OPB | Nov. 26, 2010 9 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 9:44 p.m.

Over time, the term Black Friday has held different meanings. But it has always been attached to economics. At first, it connoted calamity, even doom. But in recent years, it has come to possess more optimism: it’s the day after Thanksgiving when retailers hope to make enough sales to put themselves “into the black ink” — or profitable for the year.

Downtown retailers, online stores, and malls all compete to attract shoppers to their goods and services in hopes of kicking off to a good start what is arguably the most important sales season. For big box stores, this year’s most sought-after items are HD televisions, and some stores are offering them for as low as $98. Such bargains lure people out late at night to get doorbuster deals just hours after finishing a Thanksgiving meal. But this year, data suggests growing consumer apathy toward Black Friday, indicating a shift in the way we shop.

Two years ago we checked in on consumer confidence in the midst of the recession. Now that it’s been declared officially over, we’re checking in to see how — if at all — things have really changed.

If you’re a retailer, what does Black Friday mean to you this year? If you’re a consumer, what are your plans for this holiday shopping season?

Editor’s Note: This conversation will be pre-recorded before Thanksgiving. That means we will not be taking calls during the broadcast, but if you post before Monday the 22nd at noon we’ll try to bring your comments into the conversation. And we encourage this conversation about Black Friday to continue, robustly, online. Thank you!

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