'Black Friday' Becoming Weekend Phenomenon
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Retail experts say over the years, Black Friday has emerged into a retail celebration lasting multiple days, offering more options for consumers who want to shop their way. University of South Carolina Professor of Retail, Karen Edwards, says Black Friday, the time of year that business owners look to get their bottom lines out of the red and into the black, officially kicks off the holiday shopping season and has become a weekend phenomenon. Small Business Saturday, dubbed so by American Express in the mid 2000's as an incentive for their small business partners to make extra cash, shifts the focus from mall shopping to local Main Street brick and mortars. This year marks the third anniversary of the event that occurs the day after Black Friday. "Compared to previous years, there's been over a 60% increase in consumer awareness of small businesses in their own communities thanks to this effort," said Karen Edwards. That effort continues even after the weekend. For shoppers who prefer the privacy of their PC, Cyber Monday ranks high. "This is the first year retailers predict a majority of people who shop for the holiday season will do some of their shopping online," said Edwards. Whether you head to the mall for Black Friday, Main Street for Small Business Saturday, or the mainframe of your computer for Cyber Monday, Edwards says companies, consumers and the economy win.