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Description: Canadian Thanksgiving is earlier than American Thanksgiving but Boxing Day and its associated sales is later than Black Friday. I am not making any point there but leading up to suggesting that there are seasonal learning moment opportunities in the recent experience of Black Friday (which used to be more vicarious in the Canada but which is quickly being imported in to our shopping year calendars – assuming that the current NAFTA talks do not have anything to say about it!). After all Boxing Day sales are only about 1 month away! So Why DO so many people seem intent to stand in line for days or even weeks to be one of the early shoppers at Black Friday and by extension (as it is NOT much of a generalization leap) at Boxing Day sales? Got any hypothesis? Well if you do, dredge them up and then read the article linked below to see some research based suggestions.

Source: Why stand in line on Black Friday? The Psychology Explained. Tiffany Hsu, Business Day, The New York Times

Date: November 23, 2017

Photo Credit:  Sarah Mazzetti, The New York Times

Links:  Article Link —

Family bonding by prolonged line standing? Really? Wow. Well that is one possibility but the reward value of the serious bargains awaiting the patient line stander seem to make more sense to me. The power of “gotta have it” has even lead to death and destruction when lines lose patience and become mobs. A fascinating juxtaposition between a season of community and family warmth and one-on-one consumer contending! Ah well, what to do? Oh, and Boxing Day is coming!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What factors might contribute to people’s willingness to spend d hours or days in line for major sales?
  2. What sorts of Psychology might we employ if we wanted to reduce the risk of shopper stampedes and related carnage at these sorts of big seasonal sales?
  3. Or should we just leave the Psychology at work or home in such holiday seasons? And we haven’t even begun to consider the stress of the upcoming holiday season…..

References (Read Further):

Boyd Thomas, J., & Peters, C. (2011). An exploratory investigation of Black Friday consumption rituals. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 39(7), 522-537.

Swilley, E., & Goldsmith, R. E. (2013). Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Understanding consumer intentions on two major shopping days. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 20(1), 43-50.

Simpson, L., Taylor, L., O’Rourke, K., & Shaw, K. (2011). An analysis of consumer behavior on Black Friday. American International Journal of Contemporary Research.

Lennon, S. J., Johnson, K. K., & Lee, J. (2011). A perfect storm for consumer misbehavior: Shopping on Black Friday. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 29(2), 119-134.

Raymen, T., & Smith, O. (2015). What’s deviance got to do with it? Black Friday sales, violence and hyper-conformity. British Journal of Criminology, 56(2), 389-405.