Last Updated on 1 March 2017

Today is “Black Friday,” the beginning of the American Christmas shopping season, and one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year.

Some shoppers think it is called Black Friday because – to take advantage of the deals – you have to get up when it is still black outside…

Others believe it should be named Black and Blue Friday due to the brawls that breakout over limited quantities of this years’ “hottest” toy or electronic item.

Retailers have traditionally provided special sales and incentives to drive traffic to their stores today with the hopes of turning a profit for the year; taking their sales books from “in the red” to “in the black.”

Interesting, while today may be one of the highest traffic days, it traditionally is not the highest sales day. Discounts and special offers end up eroding margins.

Watching commercials during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (the Super Bowl for Christmastime) was interesting. Ads for super-early morning sales, deeper discounts, and extra-special offers gave a sense how anxious retailers are.

CNN Holiday shopping headlines tout: do-it-yourself gifts, getting resourceful with gift wrapping and low-cost decorations, cheaper gadgets in vogue this season, and that, this year, Santa is on a budget.

So, how much are customers willing to pour out of their wallets considering the financial unease and higher prices elsewhere?

Good timing too in reporting gas prices… Last week the average price for a gallon of gas dropped under 2-bucks. The lowest it has been in 46 months. Just in time for gassing up for holiday shopping.

It will be interesting to see the reports by the end of today and on Monday.

Did your company engage in out-of-the-usual tactics to drive traffic and sales? Higher than normal discounts? More than normal value-added items?

This entry is a simulpost with MarketingProfs DailyFix blog.