Earlier start to Christmas season

When I first began selling advertising at the newspaper in the early 1970s, the Christmas selling season did not begin until the day after Remembrance Day.
On Remembrance Day, the stores all were closed and the staffs attended the service at the cenotaph. In the afternoon, they returned to the stores and decorated for Christmas.
The newspaper would produce a special edition on the Tuesday prior to the Santa Claus parade that coincided with the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. The merchants went all out to attract customers to their stores on this side of the border.
The Santa Claus parade also would coincide with the edition and jolly St. Nick would make his appearance aboard the famous Rotary Christmas float, jingling his silver bells while waving at the children and spectators.
That was the event that really kicked off the Christmas selling season. “Black Friday,” named in the 1960s, was the official kick-off for the Christmas season.
For several decades, Boxing Day was the biggest retail day of the year in Canada. Today, “Black Friday” rivals Boxing Day as the biggest day of the year for retailers.
“Black Friday” has been adopted in other countries around the world, including Australia, the United Kingdom, and France. It truly has become a worldwide retailing event.
Today, the Christmas season begins immediately following Hallowe’en. The shelves holding Hallowe’en candy were replaced almost overnight with Christmas chocolates.
Brown boxes jammed aisles as staff worked feverishly to remove one set of seasonal sales items for another.
At the newspaper, the number of weekly flyers began rising. “Black Friday,” which was declared as the date that retail stores in the U.S. finally became profitable, begins earlier. It still remains the day after U.S. Thanksgiving but K-Mart, Walmart, Canadian Tire, and other big box stores began their “Black Friday” sales on the weekend previous.
Stores began advancing their openings to get a jump on their competitors. You may notice that Menard’s flyer states the store will not open until 6 a.m. on Friday so that employees may have an enjoyable family Thanksgiving.
Other employers are not so supportive, with some opening their stores at 12:01 a.m. on Friday.
Best Buy in Canada begins its online sale at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 24.
Retail specialists have written many columns explaining that often the best pricing may be found prior to “Black Friday.” The big attractions this year appear to be electronics and household appliances.
You will notice in this edition of the paper a special section with local merchants promoting their weekend shopping event. Local district independent retailers work diligently to compete with the large retail organizations.
In addition, Thursday’s Daily Bulletin will be packed with flyers promoting savings not only for the weekend but also for the following six days.