Black Friday evolving into Black November

Nov. 18—Black Friday is no longer a day. It's a month.

This month.

Remember when shoppers would line up outside big-box stores the day after Thanksgiving, pushing and shoving their way to unheard-of Christmas deals? That's so 2010.

In 2022, Black Friday deals can be found on Nov. 7, Nov. 10 and yes, Nov. 18. Just look at Walmart, which launched its Black Friday Deals for Days online 11 days ago and in stores Nov. 9.

The big W was not alone. Many other national retailers kicked into Black Friday mode in the opening days of November.

Which begs the question: Will anybody be left to shop or be inclined to shop by the actual Black Friday?

Anthony Johnson, who heads Pegasus Group, which operates shopping centers on Zafarano Road between Cerrillos and Airport roads, is in the "yes" camp.

"It is a social thing. I think people will do it to be out there together. There is economic pressure that will keep spending down this year. I still think people will go out and do it."

Others say holiday shopping is now spread over a longer period, reflecting the public's every-changing tastes.

The National Retail Federation says Black Friday has expanded to a five-day shopping event, with Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday (that stretches into Sunday) and Cyber Monday.

"In recent years consumer behavior has shifted with many consumers preferring to spread their shopping out over the entire season," the federation reported in a statement. "Retailers have adapted to ensure they are meeting consumers when and how they want to shop."

Overall, 75 percent of shoppers say they plan to start earlier, identifying product availability and early deals and promotions among the primary drivers for their decision. That's based on the Annual Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey for Innovation Commerce Serving Communities, formerly the International Council of Shopping Centers.

"Consumers increasingly anticipate retailers will offer early deals and promotions, as 73 percent of shoppers expect retailers to begin offering 'Black-Friday-like' deals earlier in the fall," the organization said.

Last year, the early morning Black Friday parking lots in Santa Fe's Zafarano corridor were two-thirds empty. The rest of the day had the aura of a ho-hum Friday.

Nevertheless, there will be some early morning Black Friday shopping opportunities. Walmart, JCPenney, Kohl's and Best Buy all open at 5 a.m. in Santa Fe.

Big Lots will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day — the rare national retailer open on the holiday.

"Busy, busy, busy," Big Lots Santa Fe store manager Gino Jimenez said about last year's Thanksgiving Day business. "It's already picking up right now [Monday]."

DeVargas Center opens at 9 a.m., though HomeGoods and Sierra, both TJX companies, will open at 7 a.m.

"Black Friday has never been huge for us," said Katy Fitzgerald, senior project manager at Fidelis Realty Partners, which owns DeVargas Center and College Plaza shopping center at Cerrillos Road and St. Michael's Drive. "We're doing Small Business Saturday a bigger way this year."

The move to longer Black Fridays extends to home improvement as well. Home Depot kicked off its Black Friday savings event Nov. 3, continuing to Nov. 23. Lowe's had early Black Friday Nov. 10-16.

Highlights of Black Friday history include its beginning with a stock market crash in 1869, when the term was first used; shoppers swarming Philadelphia in the late 1950s and early 1960s for the Army-Navy football game, then played on Thanksgiving weekend; then the linkage between the term and the retail-rich late 1980s. The day after Thanksgiving was recognized as the second-busiest shopping day of the year and the day when, legend has it, many retailers became profitable for the year — or "went into the black" on that Friday.

But does Black Friday still matter?

Online fashion retailer ranked the 50 states on how obsessed they were with Black Friday. New Mexico ranked among the least interested in Black Friday at No. 45. took up the matter — is an online source that reviews thousands of sales to post the best deals.

"As a season, yes, Black Friday absolutely still matters," reported. "As a singular day of shopping, though? We here at DealNews think it's safe to say that no, the day itself doesn't matter anymore. Not only do great deals show up long before the holiday itself now, but retailers provide online access to snag these savings. It goes to show how Black Friday has changed immensely from where it was even a decade ago."