Why Are Black Friday Deals Starting Earlier Than Ever? Blame Inflation & Fear

Black Friday seems to have come earlier and ever this year – and there’s a reason why.


Black Friday seems to have come earlier and ever this year – and there’s a reason why. Retailers are offering more discounts earlier than the traditional Black Friday kickoff of holiday shopping – and inflation and fear are to blame.

  • The early discounts are a sign that retailers are worried about this year’s holiday shopping demand, according to CNBC. This year’s early offerings far outpace prior years, and cover many shopping categories with the exception of electronics and toys.
  • Retailers are hoping to make a comeback after disappointing sales in November 2022, when retail sales declined by 0.6 percent. Inflation in November 2022 was 7.1 percent.
  • It remains to be seen whether online sales will match an Adobe Analytics report highlighted by Reuters in October, which predicted that online sales would climb 4.8 percent during the holiday season compared with 2022.
  • The report estimated that sales would hit $221.8 billion between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, an increase of $10 billion over the $211.7 billion in sales recorded in 2022.
  • The National Retail Federation is predicting a record-breaking shopping season. The NRF expects this year’s sales to top 2022 by as much as 4 percent and predicts the average American will spend around $620 on gifts.
  • Time Magazine investigated why Black Friday deals are starting so early. Their conclusion? “The early discounts are also used in an attempt to get the customer to shop multiple times throughout the holiday season. Look closely and you’ll see that most retailers aren’t offering discounts on everything, but instead on certain items, in a way that ensures you can’t do all of your holiday shopping now if you want to wait for bargains.”


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • USA Today reported Thanksgiving meals may not be much more expensive than last year as inflation has slowed. For comparison, food prices have increased 3.3 percent from 2022, compared to a jump of more than 10 percent from 2021 to 2022. Additionally, the price of turkey has fallen because raising turkeys is cheaper this year as there are fewer cases of bird flu.
  • CNN interviewed the daughter and granddaughter of American legend Dorcas Reilly, the inventor of the green bean casserole. Reilly, a home economist for Campbell’s, invented arguably the best Thanksgiving side dish in 1955 by combining six common pantry staples.
  • The New York Times offered some easy dinner recipes for making dinner on Thanksgiving Eve that taste “absolutely nothing like the upcoming Thanksgiving Feast.” Their suggestions include taco soup, white chicken chili, baked feta with honey, and easy kung pao chicken.



  • The Wall Street Journal offered “five economic signs you’re smart to procrastinate on holiday shopping this year.” For example, stockrooms are still full from last year, so expect big discounts from chains trying to clean out their warehouses.
  • Fox News explored the history of Black Friday. Black Friday has several origin stories, but the consensus seems to be that it originated in Pennsylvania in the 1900’s. The first to call it “Black Friday” may have been Philadelphia police officers, who referred to the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday” because tourists would flock into the city for shopping and cause traffic jams and accidents.
  • The New York Post offered a unique Black Friday forecast: how one’s Zodiac sign affects their spending habits. For example, Virgos like the author feel “superior for not indulging/engaging in the capitalist frenzy of Black Friday, openly criticizing the quality of mass-produced goods and the people who purchase them. On Small Business Saturday, they will carefully and ethically select heirloom seeds and experimental supplements for themselves and self-help books for everyone on their shopping list.” As the author has already taken advantage of early Black Friday sales, it may shock you to learn these predictions may not be the most accurate.

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© Dominic Moore, 2023