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The Trajectory Of Black Friday Sales

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The Trajectory Of Black Friday Sales

The holiday season is around the corner, with the Black Friday kicking it off later this week. Black Friday is observed annually on the Friday that follows Thanksgiving Day.

Although the concept of Black Friday has existed since 1932, it rose to prominence as one of the busiest shopping periods of the year in 2005. One explanation offered for the term is that it is the day when retailers turn to profit from a loss, i.e., from red to back, as shoppers flock to stores following the Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of the deals on offer. The day has been declared a holiday by several states; however, it is not a federal holiday.

Sensing the opportunity, retailers began offering discounts, deals and coupons to shoppers to allure them into their stores. Many retailers open very early, often before the crack of dawn, as shoppers throng outside to avail door-buster deals.

The National Retail Federation estimates that 137.4 million consumers plan to shop the Thanksgiving weekend of 2016, up from 135.8 million in 2014.

"Black Friday remains one of the busiest shopping days of the year, with Americans planning to take advantage of aggressive in-store and digital promotions over the entire holiday weekend," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

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With estimates for Black Friday alone tough to secure, Benzinga looked at the cumulative Thanksgiving weekend sales* (over the four days that start with the Thanksgiving Day) over the past decade.

At last check, SPDR S&P Retail (ETF) (NYSE: XRT) was up 0.43 percent at $46.80. The ETF is up over 8 percent year-to-date.

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