Talk Money: November 27

Tony Field (Paul Henry)
Tony Field (Paul Henry)

The Black Friday discount shopping day has been a huge event in the United States for years. Now, it is catching on with retailers in New Zealand.

Millions of Americans head to the stores to compete for bargains - and they really do compete. You will see long lines hours before the shop doors open.

Last year Black Friday generated US$50 Billion. That is about 76 billion New Zealand dollars.

It sounds impressive, but the figure was down on 2013.

Retailers are also increasingly starting their discounting days before Thanksgiving, diluting the impact of Back Friday itself.

Here in New Zealand, The Warehouse, Noel Leeming and Harvey Norman have all adopted Black Friday over the last two to three years.

But it's hard to see it replacing Christmas Eve as New Zealand's biggest shopping day. Nor is it likely that it will soon overtake Boxing Day as our biggest day for bargain hunting.

IS IT WORTH THE EFFORT?

People often line up well before dawn to be the first through the doors. But your time is valuable. Is all that effort and hassle worth it for the Black Friday bargain hunters?

Marketing Professor Robert Schindler has pondered this question.

He told KYW Newsradio that, "if you look at it in relation to the time and effort they put into it, it's hardly something that would be worth the money."

Instead he believes the real reward is the sense of accomplishment - finding something that many other people wanted.

WHERE DID THE NAME COME FROM?

It is often thought that the name Black Friday was coined by retailers who were able to use the day to move their accounts from the red (a loss) into the black (a profit).

But the phrase goes back to at least the 1950s. Traffic police in Philadelphia used to refer to the Friday after Thanksgiving as "Black Friday" because of the congestion on the roads. Some retail staff also used to describe the hectic day as Black Friday.

From the 1980s onwards retailers started to offer bigger and bigger discounts and Black Friday was how they promoted their sales.

US retailers seem to like coming up with new names to market their sales. Small Business Saturday is a day for local retailers to promote and discount their products.

Giving Tuesday is a day for corporates, retailers and consumers to raise funds and awareness for charitable causes.

THE MARKETS

The US sharemarket was closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. But the currency markets were still trading.

The New Zealand dollar was little changed against the US currency, at 65.74 cents

The Kiwi was sitting at 90.85 Australian cents at 7.45am.

The New Zealand dollar was trading at 43.53 pence, 80.60 Yen and 61.96 Euro cents.

Watch the video for the full Talk Money segment.

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