The holiday season in the United States usually begins around Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November) and ends right after New Year’s Eve. Due to a tradition of gift-giving associated with this time of the year in the United States, as well as in many other countries, the holiday season has been for decades not only a time for celebration, but also a time for shopping deals. In recent years some outlets have been advertising special sales as early as October. One of the most important days for retailers across America is Black Friday, the day immediately after Thanksgiving, which is a bank holiday in most of the United States. According to a recent survey, 27 percent of U.S. consumers claimed to be very likely to shop on Black Friday in 2017.
Since Black Friday shopping in bricks-and-mortar retail outlets sometimes involves waiting in line for hours or even camping outside stores, as well as having to literally fight other customers for the best deals, online holiday shopping has become increasingly popular in the past few years, with retail e-commerce sales having amounted to over 63 billion U.S. dollars during November and December 2016 in the United States. In 2017, 28 percent of surveyed Americans were planning to shop in store, while 28 percent were going to do their Black Friday shopping online.