The tradition of Black Friday sales is something near and dear to my heart. I spent many years prior to the boom of online shopping, grabbing a late night coffee to get me through hours of waiting in the pitch black of night, just to get most of my Christmas shopping done at the best prices of the year. With the introduction of Black Friday to my girlfriend long ago, now my wife, it became a fun time for us to go out and spend a night together grabbing all the newest stuff we wanted to gift out to our friends and family. Much has changed since with the introduction of online shopping and the convenience of “to your door” 2-day delivery, which leaves me to wonder what the future might carry in store for the great tradition of Black Friday?
In just the past several years since the great battle for online shopping supremacy began, we have seen several key brick-and-mortar retailers file for bankruptcy and several others narrowly avoid similar fates. Likewise, there has been a trend in the same timeframe of Black Friday sales staring earlier and earlier, even to the point of making consumers choose whether they would rather sit down for Thanksgiving dinner or be out shopping. The changes are no doubt linked, as brick-and-mortar locations need to try and beat the massive online retailers to “the punch” in getting the deals out in front of the consumers, in order to capitalize on the earnings this time of the year brings to them. Ever-savvy online retailers have caught on though and are quick to adjust their sale price release dates as well in order to offer the same products usually at the same price, with the added convenience of never having to go to a store and have it dropped on your doorstep, usually within two days!
While sale trends change, so does the freight-hauling climate surrounding the tide shift from brick-and-mortar to online shopping during the Black Friday freight hauling season. I myself have seen a drastic increase in power-only hauls for major online retailers being offered leading up to this year’s Black Friday shopping day, which I predict will be the norm as we move towards a greater online presence each year in the Black Friday “real estate” available out there. As online giants move to take a bigger piece of the Black Friday pie, we may see more and more of these hauls in the future during the busy holiday freight season. Only time will tell if online giants will take over the Black Friday arena, leaving nowhere to go for the “best deals of the season” other than the familiar and convenient setting of our sofas at home! If this happens, we may also see the trends of freight shift as well to more DC-to-DC shuttle hauling, versus more traditional freight moving methods.